The Texas Renaissance Festival is celebrating its fourth of eight weekend-run with “Pirate Adventure” as the designated theme this Saturday and Sunday. With record breaking attendances the last three weeks and more events and parties scheduled than ever before, the event is in full 40th Anniversary celebration mode. The event takes place on a 55 acre site located officially in Todd Mission, Texas (which is about forty-five minutes north of Houston) with plenty of free parking. The forecast this weekend could be no better with temps in the low 70’s and no rain.
You couldn’t ask for better weather to walk the grounds and check out this week’s featured artist, Kerry Kelly at The Steed & Palfrey (Shoppe #234), as well as the continuous events throughout the day. The festival is also a fun place to shop for a totally unique Christmas gift at one of their 400 booths. Fantastical jewelry, artisan created goods, artwork from all genre’s, and even furniture can be found at this year’s event.
Every weekend has a featured theme, with this one being a “Pirate Adventure.” Costumed characters from the “Pride of Bedlam” will be invading the shire with their piratical shenanigans, cracking jokes, and skits throughout the day. Contests this weekend include:
• Treasure Hunt – Throughout the Village 10:00-3:30
• Talk Like a Pirate – Revels Stage 11:00
• Best Dressed Pirate – The Arena 2:00
• Fish N’ Chips Eating Contest – New Market Music Gazebo 4:00
Need inspiration to join in the bedlam of events? You can put together your own costume, check out the Starz TV show, “Black Sails” for some inspiration, and study up on your pirate lingo at the “talk like a pirate website” (seriously, it exists!). A few quick terms to throw around include and from the website include:
Ahoy! – “Hello!”
Avast! – Stop and give attention. It can be used in a sense of surprise,
Aye! – “Why yes, I agree most heartily with everything you just said or did.”
Aye aye! – “I’ll get right on that sir, as soon as my break is over.”
Arrr! – This one is often confused with arrrgh, which is of course the sound you make when you sit on a belaying pin. “Arrr!” can mean, variously, “yes,” “I agree,” “I’m happy,” “I’m enjoying this beer.” (quoted from the website)
New this year and for adults is the “King Midas’ Masquerade” which takes place every Saturday night of the festival season from 8 pm to 1 am. The magnificent all-new complex located near the campground entrance of the festival boasts an enchanting 15,000 square foot tented pavilion set in an exotic garden fantasy. The venue features King Midas’ Golden Court with climate control, restroom facilities, ADA accessibility, and special parking. Its location is convenient and easy access to the festival’s superb Fields of New Market campground.
This stand-alone event has been very popular according to TexRenFest’s Cory Brock who says, “the event has sold out every weekend so far, and we only have a few tickets left for this weekend.” So, if you decide to attend this costume and/or mask required event you may want to purchase the tickets on their website. The cost is $75 and includes hors d’oeuvres and complimentary beverages including beer, wine, mead, and spirits. For $20 more you can go VIP and get your own section and a few more perks.
The space holds 600 people and features various acts including some that have been compared in type and quality to what you would see at Cirque du Soleil performance. Buy tickets here.
The festival runs until November 30, 2015 and regular day tickets include free parking and cost $27 for adults and $13 for children (at entrance). However, if you buy your ticket at Walgreen’s or online, you can save a few bucks. Also, online you can get a weekend pass for an adult for $37. Visit their site for the specifics and buy tickets directly.
The themed weekend events to come include:
• November 1-2: Pirate Adventure
• November 8-9: Roman Bacchanal
• November 15-16: Barbarian Invasion
• November 22-23: Highland Fling
• November 28-30: Celtic Christmas
You can also camp out for $20 and they have revamped the camping experience to include better sites, showers, and a quickie mart that is open each morning that has camping essentials and hot breakfasts. For more info on the camping click here.