Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire Ends on a Glorious High Note with Wonderful Weather and Revelry

The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire occurred over the last 12 weekends on the grounds of the Mount Hope Estate and Winery in Manheim, Pennsylvania. The 34th season has just come to a close, and what a wonderful season it was!

This year, English Shire of Mount Hope welcomed King Henry VIII and Queen Catherine, who were seeking respite and relaxation, but amongst the merriment and revelries that were planned, much excitement happened!
Over the season of the Faire, 90 shows were performed daily on open-air stages and the village streets with music, dance, and action-packed performances from the Royal Falconer’s birds of prey, revelers singing tales of love, archery demonstrations, musicians, jugglers, the Royal Greyhounds, children’s’ rides and games, along with a Fight Circle, a Dungeon Museum, the Amazing Maze, and a brand new chessboard and stage to welcome the King and Queen all added to the thrill of the Shire.

Merchants and vendors selling unique wares- glass blown items, jewelry, pottery, clothing, swords and weaponry, specialty teas, leatherwork, and more. My favorite this year was the glassblower, as I sought a unique glass pumpkin to take home, while my handsome escort sought a cloak of finery.


We wandered through the scary, sinister dungeon, where we were availed of tales of torture of yore- not for the faint of heart! The gorgeous warm day lent a festive air as children trick or treated in the shire stores and people of all ages sported unique and daring costumes. 

The food is another reason we so enjoy the faire. My friends and family descended upon the faire and we sampled so many delicious items! Cinnamon roasted nuts, giant juicy turkey legs, sweet and dry wines, delicious soup (clam chowder!) in bread bowls, savory mac n cheese, sandwiches, sweet ice cream, and our favorite, cold pumpkin whoopee pies. After walking around, taking in a few shows, eating some goodies, we decided to take on the aMAZEing Maze- which was great fun. Twists and turns- will we ever escape? Our two youngest friends did and went atop the observer platform and helpfully shouted suggestions to go back, or go left!

After finding our way out, we headed to the final Ultimate Joust, where skilled equestrians challenged each other to hand-to-hand combat in a drama that had us on the edge of our seats! We then joined our fellow revels in saying goodbye to another spectacular season at the Renaissance Faire, and bid adieu to the King and Queen and villagers as the sun slipped behind the trees at the Finale in Song- a glorious musical extravaganza. 

The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire has earned high accolades as one of the Top Five Best Renaissance Festivals in the United States, named one of the Top 100 Events in North America by the American Bus Association and earned a 2013 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence.

The Renaissance Faire may be over, but the fun never stops at the Shire of Mount Hope! Join us forPoe Evermore, from November 5-16 to hear dramatic and spooky tales from the man of the hour himself!


And don’t miss the Holiday Open House November 28-30from 11:00AM until 4:00PM. Offering free admission, free parking and free wine and snack sampling, this jubilee provides a magnificent start to the holiday season! Enjoy the decorated Mansion's Holiday splendor with 2015 discounted ticket sales, a special children's section, hand-crafted wares by local artisans and much more!


Beginning December 3 until the 23rdA Dickens of a Christmas will put you in a wonderfully festive holiday mood- and this year is not to be missed!

The Faire and Mansion are set amidst the splendor of the formal gardens of Mount Hope Estate & Winery, Route 72, ½ mile south of PA Turnpike Exit 266, 15 miles north of Lancaster and 14 miles east of Hershey. 

Special thanks to Candace Smith!



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