The lively cheer of nearly 100,000 attendees and patrons to the 45th Bay Area Renaissance Festival in Dade City could be heard for miles, as the annual, vibrant, extravagant and outlandishly fun event finished out its celebration with a bang on April 2.
Gates opened to welcome visitors to join the Villagers of Fittleworth, a magical 16th Century European village, in seeing exciting live-action entertainment, such as jousting, magicians, jugglers, jesters and mimes. Plus, a majority of visitors adorned full fantasy-eccentric costumes as they strolled through booths and attractions set up on the fields just outside Withlacoochee River Park.
Set in 1524, the seven-weeks long festival also has reenactments of King Henry VIII and Queen Catherine Parr, who even have nearly authentic English accents.
It was the third year the festival was held in Dade City, a move that happened in 2021 after decades of being at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), near the University of South Florida.
Starting on Feb. 18, patrons were able to come out to the festivals on the weekends, each with a different theme. The final weekend was the swashbuckling adventures of pirates, but there were still several festival goers that stuck with a medieval theme, from knights to wenches. There were plenty of other costumes, as well, from Norwegian vikings, to witches and wizards, to fairies and pixies. There were plenty of cultural references, such as Game of Thrones and the Knights of Templar, too.
For more information on the festival throughout the year, visit BayAreaRenFest.com.
Published April 12, 2023