Bristol Renaissance Faire Unveils New Kingdom

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Country’s Best Renaissance Faire Announces 28th Season, July 11 - Sept. 7

Serendipity photo by Linda Whitehouse

Bristol Photo Contest Grand Prize Winning Photo by Linda Whitehouse

This marks the first time in nearly two decades that a whole new land has arisen for the pleasure and comfort of our audience of all ages.

With a rousing huzzah, and a great deal of merriment the Bristol Renaissance Faire proudly presents an all new Kid’s Kingdom for 2015. This marks the first time in nearly two decades that a whole new land has arisen for the pleasure and comfort of our audience of all ages.

Kid’s Kingdom’s new Castle Stage, now the biggest and grandest in all of Bristol, was majestically designed by Matthew Mansour, also known as Sir Maxmillian when on the Joust Field. It is on this regal stage that Queen Elizabeth will knight all visiting children. Laugh, learn and be captivated while watching family friendly performances on this beautiful new stage. Dance and sing with a colorful cast of storybook characters or enjoy games and activities in this kid-sized world of wonder.

Enchanting hobbit houses appear in the breathtaking murals that surround Kid’s Kingdom like a warm hug as well as real hobbit houses with grass roofs, tiny gardens and a slippery-slide coming out the side.

The dozens of painted panels in Kid’s Kingdom create a truly immersive environment designed to transport guests to a place of wonder and awe, where everyday worries seem to vanish. Robin Raab is the gifted artist responsible for this inspiring work. Guests can find her face painting on site in the other new area this season: King’s Landing.

Parents will be thrilled to discover a new air-conditioned rest area in Kid’s Kingdom. It was built to be a private and cozy resting space for changing and nursing babies and toddlers. Here a family can relax and enjoy all that Kid’s Kingdom has to offer.

Last, but definitely not least, the entrance to Kid’s Kingdom features five thrones for the ultimate photo- op experience. The Pirate Throne commands with all its shiny plunder. The Fairy Throne has delicate creatures and tiny homes. The Dragon Throne requires bravery to claim. Only the wise may sit upon the Tree Beard. All will enjoy a laugh with the new Jester Throne, beautifully done and ready for fun.

Beyond Turkey Legs
As iconic as a giant, barbecue sauce-slathered turkey leg is to the Renaissance faire experience, Bristol patrons enjoy an extensive, and often unexpected, array of epicurean delights, ranging from Teriyaki chicken to Cornish pasties, and bakery-fresh scones to Italian strawberry gelato dipped in chocolate. The Bristol menu is ever growing and now features vegetarian, vegan and gluten free items.

Featured at this summer’s Faire are new specialty drinks such as the “Bristol Bomb” for guests over 21 and the “Bristol Blast” for guests of all ages in addition to Old World Italian coffees, imported, domestic and non-alcoholic beers and ales, wines and mead, sassafras, lemonade and other popular selections. A perfect complement to the Faire’s hookah smoking tent, a variety of international sipping beverages, such as Turkish raki, a grape brandy, will be offered at the Faire.

High Thrills and Quiet Chills
Sixteen Bristol entertainment stages feature nonstop music, merriment, feats of daring and an eclectic assortment of comedic performers who invite their audiences to become part of the act. Joining Faire favorites, including Dirk and Guido, the comedic sword-fighting duo known as “The Swordsmen,” ropewalker, juggler and foolish mortal MooNiE the Magnif’Cent, Guinness World Record-holding fire whip artist Adam Crack, the Barely Balanced acrobatic comedy troupe, and the Sturdy BeggarsTM Mud Show®, will be newcomers Jessie Helminiak, the incredibly talented, self-taught, two-time winner of the Bayshore Chalk Art Competition, and Angela Hunt as the Painted Lady who regales children with stories as they paint upon her dress.

Among this summer’s special musical guests, the hilarious and un-convent-ional duo Hey Nunnie Nunnie make their Bristol debut during the Faire’s first three weekends, and the Dread Crew of Oddwood, a folk-punk pirate band that’s coined the genre “heavy mahogany,” will perform the final two weekends in August. Also making their Bristol debuts in 2015 are the hilarious and harmonious Musical Blades (Aug. 1-2, 8-9), the Da Vinci Brothers Comedy Opera (Aug. 22-23), and the return of the Iron Hill Vagabonds acoustic music duo (July 11-12, 18-19 and 25-26).

One-of-a-Kind Wares
Bristol’s ever-expanding Marketplace offers a breadth and depth of unique shopping experiences that can’t be found anywhere outside the country’s top Renaissance faires. Nearly 175 artisans and crafters display wares ranging from stage-combat-approved swords and handmade chain maille to Scottish kilts, handcrafted leather masks, tapestry wall hangings, sterling silver jewelry, hand-caned brooms, bamboo flutes, even steampunkery and jester socks. Often, patrons have the chance to watch potters, glass blowers, bowyers, blacksmiths and other working artisans create their wares on-site.    

Back by popular demand, the annual Bristol Marketplace Weekend is scheduled for Aug. 8-9 this summer. Shoppers spending $200 in one day can show their receipts at the Guest Services Gazebo and receive two free tickets to return to the Faire another 2015 weekend.

Weekends to Remember
Once-a-summer events create special opportunities to enjoy the Bristol Renaissance Faire in new and different ways. Debuting in 2015, Holidaze in July will feature winter spirit with a limited edition egg nog on the beverage menu, July 25-26. Among notable events returning to this summer’s Faire, Bristol’s Steampunk Invasion with a new costume and accessory contest is slated for Aug. 8-9, while Swashbuckler Weekend will unleash a booty of Buccaneer-themed revelry, Aug. 29-30.
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aking its framework from the summer day in 1574 when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth visited the English hamlet of Bristol, the Bristol Renaissance Faire is located on 30 wooded acres, just west of I-94’s Russell Road exit, near Kenosha, Wis. Open rain or shine, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., every Saturday and Sunday, July 11 through Sept. 6, and on Labor Day Monday, Sep. 7, tickets are $23.95 for adults and $11.50 for children, ages 5 to 12. Advance ticket discounts are available at renfair.com or by calling (847) 395-7773.

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Kristen Mansour
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