Walking along a mud-packed path topped with wood chips amid shops and attractions at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival harkens back to what life must have been like during Medieval times. With authentic-looking buildings, the faire is the closest to authenticity I’ve seen for a renaissance event.
Knights, jesters and fairies highlight the 16-day event covering seven weekends and two holidays beginning Labor Day weekend. It’s easy to spend an entire day and then some taking in the event on the grounds of the Providence Medical Center Amphitheater in Bonner Springs, near Hollywood Casino.
The renaissance faire covers several acres, including an actual medieval village with shops featuring handmade crafts and goods, such as clothes and steins. As you stroll through the village, you’ll encounter stage shows, medieval-based rides (including a hand-operated swing ride) and food vendors (grab a giant turkey leg or chicken tenders).
The stage entertainment was impressive. From singers and comedians to an actual fire swallower, you’ll find plenty of entertainment options.
A castle display invites people to explore the history of torture. From rats crawling on people to being dunked in water for gossiping, the museum provides an interesting look at the art of torture.
A visit to the enchanted forest is a must. Fairies will do their best to entice you to walk through the woods. You may run into fairies who will tell stories or share fun activities with kids. The forest is also home to a living mermaid, whose fins actually move.
Grab a sword and learn to fight like a knight. Or, maybe participate in some other activities, such as axe throwing, nerf-style archery and tomato tossing.
The most popular event of the faire is easily the knights’ jousting. The event takes place three times each afternoon. An elaborate show takes place, featuring a parade introducing the festival’s king and queen. The royal duo sit prominently at center stage and watch as two knights duel. They first start with a contest of who can capture the most rings on their lances. Then, to score a real victory, the knights take part in a jousting match aboard their trusty steeds. The performers do an excellent job of handling their lances, shields and horses as they battle.
Unable to declare a winner after the joust, the knights engaged in sword fighting. The fights were well-choreographed. In the end, a victor was named.
The Kansas City Renaissance Faire provides an outstanding look into medieval life and times. It is definitely worth planning a trip to the event.
For additional information on the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, please visit www.kcrenfest.com.
Disclaimer: Thank you to KC Renfest for the media tickets to the event. However, all opinions and views are ours.