40th Annual Texas Renaissance Festival

Dust off your corset and start practicing your Elizabethan accent, because it’s time for the 40th Annual Texas Renaissance Festival. Texas Ren Fest, not only the nation’s largest Renaissance-themed fair but also the most awesome, is open every weekend (including some Fridays). The big news this year is the addition of the King Midas Masquerade (8 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Saturday). A 15,000-square-foot pavilion, fashioned after an ancient Greek temple, has been constructed for the ball (and it has climate control!).

Each weekend of the festival has a theme, including pirate adventure, barbarian invasion, Roman bacchanal and Celtic Christmas. Spread out across 55 acres, all of which are crafted to resemble 16th-century Britain, Texas Ren Fest includes some 200 performances daily. Make sure you find your way to the joust, where spectators are expected to be as rowdy as the battling knights on their trusty steeds. Along with lots of roaming entertainers — jugglers, singers, jesters and musicians — there are hundreds of shops (pick up next year’s costume while you’re there). Lots of visitors are unofficial medieval players. You’ll see folks decked out in some of the more risqué Renaissance garb or cheeky — and we do mean that quite literally — chain-mail attire. There’s also an ironworking display, friendly man-powered dragons and elephant rides. Oh, and did we mention the giant turkey legs?

10 a.m. until sundown Saturdays, Sundays and select Fridays. Through November 30. Texas Renaissance Festival Fairgrounds, 21778 FM 1774, Todd Mission. For information, call 800‑458‑3435 or visit texrenfest.com. $23 to $27.
Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Starts: Oct. 11. Continues through Nov. 30, 2014

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Angelica Leicht
Contact: Angelica Leicht