A Day at the Ren Faire

Inside the ninth annual Sherwood Forest Faire

The 9th Annual Sherwood Forest Renaissance Faire is the perfect combo of adult fun and distractions for the kids. The fair is full of passionate festival goers, spirited merchants, performers, and staff operators. Nestled in McDade, about an hour outside of Austin, this festival is definitely a hidden gem.

Take a turn down a dirt road and journey into the Medieval Village of the Sherwood Forest. To state the basics, the 23-acre town includes artisan merchant shoppes, stages, pubs, tasty food, along with rides and interactive games.

Watch glass artists and leather workers actively pursuing their craft, drink some good ole mead, and relish in the feudal fairy vibes. Compared to other Ren-Fests, Sherwood Forest Faire is laid-back and family oriented with something for everyone. Most notably, it has the perfect balance of people, food vendors, and facilities - you won’t find yourself jam-packed in a crowd or waiting in a ridiculously long line to get your hands on a turkey leg.

Activities and events are never ending and the variety is refreshing. Untrained dog shows, exceptional musicians, jousting, juggling, adult only events, and everything in between. The fest hosts over 100 shows in over twenty performance areas.

However, it truly is the people that make the Sherwood Forest Faire an event not to miss. Every act, show, and merchant shop is filled with witty, sarcastic folks that love to make conversation along with some tongue-in-cheek jabs. Even the “children's shows” are carefully crafted to amuse both little ones and adults with subliminal, over-the-kids-heads jokes that Mom hopefully won’t have to explain. Friendly reminder: don't forget to tip the performers!

Visitors can join in on a Forest Quest and get immersed solving puzzles and finding clues around the site. Plus, observe buzzards, owls, and other birds up close at the raptor’s aviary, and the Birds of Prey show. Uncertain about the future? Get some guidance from the gypsy palm-readers! Don’t worry - You can always listen to dirty pirate love stories from François’ later while the kiddos are at sword school. The Sherwood Forest Faire is far from short of entertainment and medieval necessities. Nevertheless, it’s always enjoyable to sit back and people watch, especially when everyone looks like the cast from Lord of the Rings.

All the same, if you’re really trying to get out of your head and get the most of your weekend, the Sherwood Forest Faire is an amazing escape from reality.

Visitors have until April 22 to experience the festivities, so get your tickets soon! See more photos from the fest here.

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