This weekend is the last huzzah for Bay Area Renaissance Festival

Get the lowdown on Ren Fest with videos and slideshow.

There is only ONE weekend left to BARF it up. (And the award for worst acronym ever goes to...)

If you haven't been to the Bay Area Renaissance Festival (next door to MOSI) yet, or have been curious as to whether you should check it out, let me help you out - the answer is YES.

If one of your hobbies is people-watching, then this is the event for you. If you like dressing up and role-playing, this is also for you. If you have children who would love seeing a 'live mermaid'...

I've been going to this festival since I was a young lass; back when it was still in Largo. I look forward to it every year and I think this year has been the busiest I have ever seen it.

Every weekend has a theme and this weekend's is German Invasion: Halfway to Oktoberfest! There will be free beer tasting, a Bavarian Village and a longbow competition. Did I mention FREE beer tasting? It's also biker weekend, so anyone with a motorcycle license will receive $5 off an adult admission ticket at the ticket stand.

What I love most about the event is that the grounds are closed off, so guests can truly transport themselves to another time. Every booth and vendor is decked out for the occasion and most get completely into character. It might take a bit to get used to, but the whole point of the festival is to let go and live in the moment.

The live entertainment is a hoot-and-a-half. There's live music, comedy acts, belly dancing and an actual King and Queen who parade around the festival (is your bow & curtsy up to par?). There are games galore, henna and hair braiding and palm reading stations.

The food is really great as well. There are food counters with the traditional turkey leg, but they also have bread bowls, delish pizza by the slice, cheeseburgers, shepherd's pie, soft shell crab and much, much more. Sushi is even on the menu!

The most unique, badass event is the full contact armored joust. The horses are beautiful and the ringleader of the joust has the most epic beard you've ever seen.

If nothing else, the weather has been crazy beautiful and it's a great way to spend a weekend.

Words of advice: your feet will be covered in dirt and unrecognizable after walking around, so be prepared with your choice of apparel and footwear. Also, bring the right attitude along and you will leave the fest looking forward to next year!

Oh, and parking is FREE!

Scroll to read more Local Arts articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]