2013 Bay Area Renaissance Festival

Florida folks! The Bay Area Renaissance Festival is well underway every weekend until April 7th. Going strong since 1979, this year promises to be the biggest festival yet. It is the largest costumed festival in Tampa, and it’s chock-full of fun activities for grown-ups and kids alike.

Well known for its themed weekends, this festival right on schedule to celebrate St. Patrick’s day. Come check it out this weekend while they celebrate “Shamrocks & Shenanigans!” It is the largest St. Paddy’s day party in Tampa, complete with a “Men in Kilts” contest… should be interesting to say the least… FREE beer tasting, Irish Heavy Games, and their very own Celtic Village, this weekend is a must-see!

All that in addition to the other traditional Renaissance fest accoutrements, like jousting, arts and crafts, acrobats, daily high tea with the Queen herself, and medieval market place. You could even have brunch with King Henry on Easter Sunday! The menu includes all kinds of yummy things, and mango mimosas… wink, wink. Yum.

This particular festival is special in that they have real-live mermaids! They swim around in a ginormous tank, and will even wave at you as you walk by. They might even take a picture with you, if you ask nicely.

Admission is $18.95 at the door for adults, $10.95 for kids ages 5-12. Kids under 4 years old enter free. Members of the military get free admission Friday, March 22nd. Mark your calendars! They are open from 10 am-6 pm rain or shine. Check out their website for directions.

They do have a weapon’s policy, which I read. They allow longbows, as long as they are not strung. Swords, knives, dirks and daggers are allowed, but must be completely sheathed and peace-tied. No axes or blunt weapons. Here are a few cool weapons with sheaths and some armor to complete your costume for the festival.

Masonic Short Sword

Turn some heads with this beautifully detailed sword. The handle alone is gasp-worthy. It is 20” long and the handle has a silver finish. Just, so pretty.

Leather Arm Guards

Metal armor might be too much for the Florida heat, but these leather arm guards will complete your Medieval outlaw look with ease. A black cotton shirt, a sword around your waist, or a bow strapped to your back, and you’re looking pretty good.

Blue Medieval Crusader Knight Dragon Foam Shield

This shield is light enough to get carried around all day, but detailed enough to get some attention. Perfect for the festival. Also really good for kids who want to dress up too!

A Renaissance Festival is fun whether or not you wear a costume. But getting dressed up adds to the fantasy of it all, it immerses you in the experience. Keeps the scene going, if you will. Nothing can take you out of the moment faster than looking down at your Metallica t-shirt while watching a jousting match. Enjoy the fair!



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