The pirate steampunk fairy vibrations that fill the 35 acres of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire (PRF) in Manheim, PA is bound to change your perspective.
Typically only open on weekends from the beginning of September to the first weekend in November, 2020 is the Faire’s 40th anniversary year. Each weekend is themed differently, from Castle Gates, to Wizarding and Time Travel, to Halloween Days and Spooky Knights. Thus giving those that visit a “different experience every time,” according to the PRF website.
There are over 100 different merchants across the Faire’s grounds, including all the shops and food stops. Cheesesteaks, funnel cakes, witchy creations and trinkets, chimes and so much more. Other areas are for things like archery, blacksmithing, and glass blowing demonstrations, or handmade leather footwear, clothes, jewelry and accessories. You can even watch vendors make pottery sculptures and thistle pottery.
Still, this isn’t where the uniqueness ends at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. There are so many entertainers from those who are cast in scheduled plays held on stages around the Faire, to ones who have their own shows. Scheduled shows are normally Shakespearean and/or Commedia dell’arte with the occasional comedy act, and take place at different times throughout the weekend across the land. Aside from that, performers include musicians and singers, magicians, acrobats, jugglers and even jousters and sword fighters. Each cast or crew member at the PA Renn. Faire has a gold and green “cast and crew pin” that they wear during the day on their costumes. It’s purpose is to help people identify the “Official PRF Cast and Crew”.
Tickets for the Faire must be purchased ahead of time and are date specific. Adult tickets (age 12+) cost about $30 while Child tickets (ages 5-11) cost half of that at $15. Refunds are offered with rainy days as the only exception, and season passes are also available for purchase. Re-entry at the Faire is permitted and dogs are also welcomed. A majority of the merchants within the land do accept cards, but for the ones that don’t, there is an ATM on site.
This experience is definitely the type you would want to cut an entire day out for so you don’t miss all the cool things it has to offer. Even though the Faire is closed for the rest of this season, next year is never too late to plan on going. 2021 season dates have not yet been provided, but will most likely be early autumn to Halloween.
“I don’t know of anywhere else you would experience something like that (PRF); it’s different,” says Katie Eppley, senior at Central York High School.
So whoever you are, give it a chance. Discover a world you never knew you wanted to be a part of.