You had us at full-contact jousting—the Renaissance Festival cometh

This juggler isn’t as flashy as the warrior women with swords engulfed in rainbow flames, but he mesmerizes all the same. See gents like him and so many other colorful performers at the Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival October 5-7 at Silver Bowl Park.
Photo: Hannah Moran

The Age of Chivalry is back, in the form of Clark County’s annual Renaissance Festival. It may only be for three days, but the 19-year-old fest is cramming the weekend with enough medieval goodness to satisfy the entire ornamental-sword-carrying nerd population of this planet. Me included.

The fest kicks off Friday, October 5, at Silver Bowl Park—a temporary home while Sunset Park is under construction. On the main stage, headlining Irish folk-punk bands Lexington Field and The Mahones will work their wicked strings along with local favorite Killian’s Angels and their fast-picking, high-stepping Celtic repertoire.

The Details

Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival
October 5 and 6, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; October 7, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Silver Bowl Park, 6800 E. Russell Road
Prices vary on single-day tickets and weekend packages; details at 455-8200 and the event website.

Several auxiliary stages promise more than 50 shows by costumed performers each day, and live entertainment on the grounds will be even more robust. Watch the parade for a primer on how to do the royal wave. Stroll the shops of more than 100 artisans working in metal, wood, perfume, stone, precious metals and jewels on everything from armor to toys. Catch historical reenactments by strolling minstrels, contortionists, magicians, storytellers, jokers, jugglers, flame eaters, belly dancers and pirates with trained parrots.

If gallant deeds are more your speed, fear not. German, Italian, Ottoman Turk, French, Celtic, Polish and British military encampments in the 16th Century Village will battle it out on the Field of Honor. In the midst of all that, the fest will also feature full-contact jousting tourneys, gladiator head-to-heads, target games for axes and arrows and demos showcasing black powder, a medieval barber and a medieval surgeon.

Don’t fill up on ale, because the Boars Head Feaste (reservations are suggested, and tickets are an additional $25 after festival admission) is a six-course tribute to the king’s table. Entertainment will come courtesy of serving wenches and tavern knaves, with vittles including fresh herb chickens, ribs, smoked sausages, steamed vegetables, savory rolls and sweets. Or go casual with a plate of English-style fish and chips on the fly.

Just remember to leave pets, lawn chairs and outside food and drinks at home. Weapons, too, unless they’re “peace tied” and part of a costume. For more on that, Feaste reservations and a full roster of vendors and schedule of events, call 455-8200 or visit the Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival online.

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Erin Ryan

Erin got her first newspaper job in 2002 thanks to a campfire story about Bigfoot. In her award-winning work for ...

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