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STEP BACK IN TIME, ARIZONANS, ENJOY BIGGEST RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL IN THE SOUTHWEST …




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PERHAPS A QUARTER MILLION PEOPLE will visit the ARIZONA RENAISSANCE FAIRE this year near APACHE JUNCTION off HWY 60, which is now in its twenty-third year and going strong. The Medieval cityscape constructed midway between Phoenix and Tucson has become as Arizona, as is the Tucson’s Gem Show or Phoenix’s Spring Training. This event carved from 1500AD the century of Tudor England has grown significantly in size and each year it stays open a week or two longer. So when our weather permits, the Arizona Renaissance Faire is often in the TOP FIVE Festivals of the 236 in the United States and that reknown brings in some of the finest craftspeople, shows and reenacters. It is not unusual for the locals, to dress up and join in, bring along their own beer steins which they carry down to the joust and cheer on their favorite knight. The new arrival will be amazed by the hub-bub of the ancient community which offers opportunities to throw knives, axes and wet sponges. On the sidelines, craftspeople spin pots, blow glass, bend metal, cast bronze, harpest entertain and the beer and wine stands have a steady line but at the end you can only buy one beer–for yourself. Next to the drink stands, faire-goers can find food stands selling Turkey Legs, steak or chicken on a stick, pretzels, or beef stew in a bread bowl and as you stroll stuffing your face you can visit photo galleries, get your face painted, or hair styled by a Pirate. I went last weekend and the Toga Crowd were on hand with the exception all togas had a tartan plaid, whole families dress as pirates (including the dog), a few kilts showed up, but mostly dress from the Elizabethan Period was everywhere. It should be noted that the faire has embraced most One Percent Groups and offer sanctuary for fairies, klingons, wild men, pirates or buccaneers and FOOLS. TREEBEARD attended this year and was a big hit with the smaller members of the crowd who may not have yet seen the “Fellowship of the Ring” Trilogy but loved the talking tree who played with them. Most folks arrive between 10-11am and start leaving around 4:30 and the 5pm joust is the final event of the day. As you stroll out, take a minute, to soak up the great color of ladies and lords shopping and strolling along the main street where the smell of delicious cinnamon rolls fill the air. When you are ready to leave, there may be one more test of your ability. Sitting at the exit, looking like he is having a terrible day, last weekend was a sargent with the Pinal County Sheriff, he was backed up a two beefy Faire Security and they appeared that they could pluck drunks from the crowd before they got to their cars or check on designated drivers, anyway, keep those folks in mind as you enjoy the faire…you are quite a distance from anywhere. The Faire remains open through April 3rd and tickets can be bought at all FRY’S Groceries Stores for two dollars off or purchased at the front entrance for $22 per adult.

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