Enough of my sister and her horses. On to the Festival! I actually spent a weekend at the Maryland Festival. But I've condensed it down to a single day so that you don't have to spend time with me as I schmooze with my friends and Christmas shop with my sister. I'm sure a discussion of the relative merits of a baby quilt with a castle versus one with a farmyard is not what you are interested in! First, the standard disclaimer. I am in no way associated with the Maryland Renaissance Festival except as a satisfied customer. Remember, if you click on the small picture, you will get a large picture.
The year is 1547 and King Henry is married to Katherine Parr (his sixth wife). Henry is not in the best of health, and his courtiers are already scheming for the power that will be available when his son Edward ascends the throne. Here we seen King Henry and Cardinal Sinnius Vice. This Establishment Blessed By Sinnius Vice - Go Forth And Sin Some More.
Just inside the main gate is the
Gatehouse Stage where one of my all-time favorite
The Bawdy Balladeers,
The Balladeers (la dee da dee da dee dum) are
Kissandra Serenade and
Some sad news ... I've heard that the Balladeers have broken up.
But Bliss, Kissandra and Scarlett will be back at Maryland next
Find out more by visiting the
Caprizzio home page.
As we stroll along the Queen's Path, we find
Rats, Bats, Vultures,
a collection of natural sculpture by
Roger uses clam shells, driftwood and other natural objects to create
his sculpture ... rats, bats and vultures.
These objects were so popular
(isn't that rat cute?)
that he practically sold out the weekend I visited.
Right next door is a shop that is a visual treat: Ye Dragon & Unicorn. Check out that face! And the leather tankards are just as lavishly decorated.
Across the Queen's Path is Historic Woodwinds. You can find any kind of wind instrument there, including alpen horns like these. Contrary to what you might think, it doesn't take the lungs of a Hercules to play one of these, just good technique.
Oh! Look! Who is that over by the Lyric Stage?
"O" a Fool!
O performs daily on the Lyric Stage.
Catch his act ... you'll be glad you did!
As the Queen's Path turns into Valley Mead, there is a large group of people gathered around two booths. Some of the people are watching a pastime popular at all faires, face painting. I must admit, I've never seen a face painting artist so richly dressed before. In fact, most face painters I know tend to be covered in paint. I don't know how this one manages to keep her costume so clean!
Another group of people is gathered around
life mask being made.
Imagine sitting there and having strip after strip of wet, gooey, cloth
covering your entire face.
You can't move or you'll ruin the mask.
Just when you think you can't take it any more ... off comes the mask!
The mask is then used as a mold to create 3 dimensional wall hangings,
vases, etc., that feature your face.
Very beautiful and personal art!
Strolling down Valley Mead, past Middleton's (oysters and beer - Yum!) and The White Hart Tavern (site of the evening pub sing), we take a right onto Stub Toe Lane. Nestled together here are a pair of shops dealing in fantastic dragons. Sleeping Dragon features soft sculpted dragons including cuddly little baby dragons just asking to be taken home. If you like these guys, take a peek at the dolls and soft sculpture available on The Sleeping Dragon South Home Page.
Some sharper, more exotic dragons can be found one shop over at
Not only does Pamela Chevalier (the sculptress) create flying bronze dragons,
she takes pieces of blown glass and marries them with bronze sculpture to create
brass-stemmed glass goblets.
At the back of most
shops along Stub Toe Lane are balconies with
benches so that you can sit and watch a performance
at the Globe Theatre.
That is, if you are on friendly terms with the shopkeeper.
On stage right now is
Leave it to Hamlet by Shakespeare's Skum.
At the end of Stub Toe Lane we come to the Royal Stage where Hack and Slash perform their comedy crossbow act. You can also get an offical Hack and Slash t-shirt, and if you ask nicely, Hack and Slash will autograph it for you. Hack and Slash also have a cool home page.
To the right of the Royal Stage is
White Stag Grove where
Crysalis' hammocks are soooo comfortable, and they are
big enough for two adults (or 4 children, if they are small enough).
At Wood Butchery you can find sculpture suitable for
your home or garden.
And, oh yes, Santa Claus (check out the figure on the balcony).
Going straight through White Stag Grove, we come to Kenwood Lane.
Among the many shops you can find here is one of my personal favorites,
Jane and Michael Thompson-Gergen do not just create pressed flowers in glass,
they create stained glass-like suncatchers, windows and other works of art.
Some day I'm going to take home one of the large pieces (I've already got a collection
of the smaller suncatchers - they make fabulous presents, too!) ... maybe even
a room divider like the one in the picture.
Just down from Underglass is another one of my favorite shops,
Here you can find fantastic wire sculpted brass dragons that twinkle in
the light as well as jewelry and much, much more!
They had some marvelous daggers that I could never get a clear photo of ...
just too many people oh'ing and ah'ing over all the goodies.
Reaching the end of Kenwood Lane, we take a jog to the right
and find ourselves on Meadow Lane.
Here we find the
All of the pottery here is hand made with many pieces decorated
with painted cats.
They also advertised worms.
I don't know what that meant they had fishing worms, gummy worms,
earthworms, or what.
I figured if I didn't ask "what" I wouldn't have to ask "why" later.
Going back along the way we came, we take a left onto Mary's Dale Way. There are some interesting things along this path, including a minature golf, er, goof, game and a pony ride. But we're here to see Camerata Musica perform at the Thistledew Theatre stage.
Upon leaving the Thistledew Theatre we take a right and
head up the hill towards St. George's Chapel and then
down to the Tiltyard Path.
Immediately we see the face of a kindly, white wizard.
were you can find wizards and other fantastical creatures
sculpted in white clay.
Sometimes the kindly wizard will even grant a wish or two.
Following the Tiltyard Path (with a name like that, we have to be getting close to the housting arena), we come up round the corner and see the Jousting Arena on the left. But before we get there, we come to Cimmerian Treasures on the right-hand side of the King's Field. Kate Cox creates chain mail fashions for women (and men!). She also has the most adorable little teddy bears in chain mail.
From Kate's perch we can see the Jousting Arena where the Free Lancers of the Cimmerian Combatives perform armoured combat daily. Besides the traditional jousting, the Free Lancers also perform armoured combat on foot with swords and pikes and mounted combat with the baston.
Wait a minute! A messenger has arrived for Prince Edward, who is attending
He just called him King Edward!
Yes, it is true. King Henry, in ill-health, has died.
The court rallies round Edward as
the Archbishop crowns him King of England.
Long live Edward! Long live the King!
I hope you enjoyed this visit to the 1996 Maryland Renaissance Festival.
Be sure to check out the
Official Maryland Renaissance Festival Home Page.
27 December 1997