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Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Bristol Renaissance Faire Now Open for All to Enjoy

7/14/2017 - Nancy Davies

Family-Friendly
Bristol Renaissance Faire
Bristol Renaissance Faire

The saying, “a picture paints a thousand words,” is never truer than when writing about the amazing Bristol Renaissance Faire. Celebrating 30 years in Bristol, Wisconsin, my husband and I attended the Faire’s 2017 opening weekend, kicking off nine weekends of family fun. What follows are mostly photos I took to capture the fun, frolic, and spirit of the village of Bristol in 1574 when the Queen came to visit. This village comes alive every summer and it’s something you must experience for yourself; my commentary and images don’t do it justice.

BRF_2017blog_1.jpgYou’ll find free parking, with a bit of a walk to the entrance, or preferred parking for $5 that’s situated in a field in front of the entrance. We opted for preferred parking, and, as we approached the entrance the fun begins with Bristol Faire residences calling out to everyone from above.

Where to start? Food! So much to choose from (now’s the time to get a turkey leg)! Shopping! Everywhere there’s a marketplace of items ranging from swords to fairy wings, and constant entertainment on the street and on 20 stages. On your visit, whether you’re by yourself, with a friend, a spouse, or with your children, have an open spirit and you’re sure to enjoy every moment of what the Faire has to offer. Never seen a joust? Now you can!

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And oh the people watching, such fun! Guests often dress up as though they too are an inhabitant of the village, embracing its spirit. In fact, the Faire welcomes any style costume you want to put on: Star Wars Storm Trooper? Ok. We saw Harry Potter while we were there. They even have themed weekends, such as Steampunk Invasion (August 5 & 6). Whether you’ve been to Bristol Renaissance Faire for the 15th time, the 1st, or never before, GO! It’s an experience like none other. Even its inhabitants are changed by it, something I’ll discuss in a moment, but first, pictures!

I was fortunate during the Queen’s parade to capture an image of her. Yes, I did curtsy beforehand.

Then there are the sudden moments of street theatre that take place around you.

brf.jpgThere’s shopping!

It was fortunate I ran into Bristol’s Master of the Guild of Barristers Nicolas Wright (whose 21st century name is David Deal), the man in charge of the town’s Barristers and makes the laws. Nicolas regaled me with fantastical stories of how he allegedly founded the town, though I found Nicolas to stretch the truth at times in his storytelling, such as when he regaled me with the time he was attacked by a dozen marauders, though by the end of the story it had grown upwards of 200.

In a moment of 21st century time travel, David was able to step away from his Barrister character to share with me how his experience playing at Bristol has changed him. “Bristol is a sanctuary, a place of welcome to forget your cares of the day. It’s magic,” David explains. “Watch for the other patrons at the Faire because they have such a spirit of joy.” The Faire is a family affair for David; his daughter Marion is also a cast member, both of whom have been since 2014.

Collage-2.jpg“I’m now a dreamer of the day; not afraid to do anything, not afraid to take a risk. Being a part of Bristol has taught me how to do this. For me, becoming a part of the Faire was a risk, but everyone here is so supportive. I took a leap and the net appeared. This experience has emboldened me to try new things,” David shared.

That is similar to what I experience when I’ve been to Bristol Renaissance Faire. People who may not normally embrace the experience of being with other patrons who dress up, who participate in the fun in their own way, have a wonderful time. The stresses of the day melt when you’re at the Faire.

By the way, when we were waiting for the Joust to begin, my husband and I met The Knights (their real name). It was there first time at Bristol and they came up from St. Louis, Missouri for the experience, one they obviously were prepared for; they said they loved it!

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Huzzah!

 

The Bristol Renaissance Faire is open July 8 – September 4, 2017, Saturdays and Sundays plus Labor Day, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

 

 

Nancy Davies

Community Blogger

A Kenosha County transplant 10+ yrs. ago, Nancy and her husband love the friendly, beautiful atmosphere of Kenosha. Enjoying finding the hidden gems of the area, she also enjoys being by the lake!

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