The 33rd Annual Tennessee Renaissance Festival got underway this past weekend in the Triune-Arrington area outside of Nashville. The Ren Fest takes place every weekend in May. The first weekend has historically been Family Weekend weekend but in recent years has been dubbed Community Appreciation Weekend, and it remains a great time to bring the family since kids and two grandparents get in free.
New to the festival this year was Daniel "Duke of Danger" with his comedy, acrobatics, plate spinning and balancing act. Dan climbed a ladder which doesn't sound like much except the ladder wasn't braced and relied upon Dan's balancing to remain upright. There he spun plates and told mediocre jokes.
The Queen's knighting ceremony remains one of my favorite things to watch as little ones are knighted by Her Majesty, and the Castle Tour is also not to be missed. The joust is always exciting but it is just too much time in the hot sun for this skincare junkie as are the chess match and the Birds of the Gauntlet show.
Shopping is fun at the Ren Fest because of the variety of goods available. I did not see the sign for Nautical Pirates but I found a familiar-looking booth in its customary spot next to the jousting arena. Warning: Last year I took a couple of rings marked "sterling silver" from this booth to my local jeweler and discovered they are only silver plate over a base metal. The stones, however, proved to be real--low quality but real. Let the buyer beware at any carnival, festival or flea market. A lot of jewelry is coming into the U.S. from China these days marked sterling which is only cheap silver plate.
NEXT WEEKEND is Artisan and Crafts Weekend for Mother's Day weekend, followed by Pirate Invasion Weekend, and Celtic Weekend rounds things out for Memorial Day Weekend. Check out http://tnrenfest.com/ for more information and tickets.
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