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The High Flier

The High Flier

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The Maryland Renaissance Festival: The Fantastical Elements of a Sophisticated World



ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND — known for being the capital of the state and for housing the U.S Naval Academy, Annapolis is a notorious location for those on the East coast. During the colder, breezier seasons of the year, however, it also opens its arms to fairies, wizards and travelers alike. That’s right, from the end of August to the start of October, Annapolis makes way for the Maryland Renaissance Festival. To an outsider’s view, the festival may seem confusing; people dressed in elaborate costumes and playing extensive roles can be an environment that’s hard to fit into. Though the timing of the festival may lead people to believe it’s a sistering event to Halloween, and to some it is, there’s more to it all.


The Renaissance Festival is set on a large plot of rather gravelly and forest-filled land, lined with a multitude of shops and attractions. Things such as fair food, a majority of which were branded as being “on a stick”, waft through the air as you settle at a table to watch the bands play. Many smaller, less known businesses introduce themselves to the people with their products. Vendors come from far and wide to reach their audiences; even Frederick’s very own Earthly Elements was present at the festival! Mystical items such as handmade chainmail, carefully forged swords, and leather bound books greeted every adventurer for all of their needs. Every day, the festival puts on a show for the visitors. This dramatic yet captivating show is broken up into four segments which are scattered throughout the day. It’s a story of four princes from across the land meeting to show their worth before the king, the queen and their high and mighty princess. To make it all that more interesting, the play incorporates Maryland’s state sport — jousting.

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Though by the end of the night there’s only one victor, it’s a story meant to be viewed, not told. Not to mention, the one standing last will change with every performance. It managed to draw in such a crowd that people started seating themselves 20 minutes before the performance.  As time goes on, the crowd grows even larger with every installment of the story. The jousting tournaments are quite a staple to the Maryland Renaissance Festival.


Alongside the eye-catching creations, the mouth watering food and the immersive drama, there are also lots of interesting outfit designs to explore. People will arrive dressed head to toe in fabulous jewelry and extravagant make up. Some come as elves with long pointy ears, others come as satyrs with fur covered legs and tall antlers. Sometimes, people will come dressed as an amalgamation of fantasy elements and build the story of their character as they roam. 


At the Renaissance Festival, it’s all in the creative mind. It’s a space to allow people to explore a more imaginative and freeing version of themselves. Though it can be slightly embarrassing at first, it truly can be a fun and magical experience for everyone. Considering the fact that all tickets for the event sold long before the end of the 2023 edition, it’s no surprise that people enjoy taking time away from the black and white world of the average day and taking a step into the colorful, mythical world of Maryland’s Renaissance Festival.


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