The Texas Renaissance Festival is the largest, most successful celebration of its kind in the nation, and with good reason according to longtime cast member Niki Marshal. ''TRF has endured because it provides the public with a feasible escape,'' she says. ''When you walk through the gates, you’re instantly transported to another world…another time and place. This is a place where anything seems possible. These days, we need that kind of escape.''
As tradition dictates, the fair opens with Oktoberfest (October 12 and 13), a celebration of Bavarian food, music and dance that will leave you full of beer and brats while you polka till you fall over. The festival continues with 1001 Dreams (October 19 and 20), All Hallows Eve (October 26 and 27), Pirate Adventure (November 2 and 3), Roman Bacchanal (November 9 and 10), Barbarian Invasion (November 16 and 17), Highland Fling (November 23 and 24) and a three-day Celtic Christmas (November 29 and 30 and December 1).
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9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Through December 1. Texas Renaissance Festival Fairgrounds, 21778 FM 1774. For information, call 800-458-3435 or visit texrenfest.com. $6 to $26.
Saturdays, Sundays, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Starts: Oct. 12. Continues through Nov. 24, 2013