Scarborough Renaissance Festival

Scarborough Renaissance Festival
The Scarborough Renaissance Festival, also known as Scarborough Faire, is an annual Renaissance fair held in the city of Waxahachie, Texas. Set in the fictional town of Scarborough under the reign of King Henry VIII, it runs from the first full weekend in April until Memorial Day Monday. Like most Renaissance fairs, it is only open on weekends.

The first Scarborough Renaissance Festival was held in 1981. Since then, the event has grown to become one of the country’s largest and most popular Renaissance fairs, attracting an average of 200,000 attendees each year. The festival celebrates the mirth and merriment during the days of King Henry the VIII for eight consecutive weekends in spring.

The festival features 150 cast members. The majority of them are volunteer actors. The Scarborough Academy of Performing Arts (SAPA) conducts two months of rigorous training and rehearsals prior to the festival, ensuring that the performers can stay in character 10 hours a day. Some of the performers have participated in the festival for many years. For example, King Henry VIII and Queen Margaret have been playing their roles for more than 19 seasons.

Scarborough Fair offers about 200 performances daily on 23 stages. The festival has something for everyone: comedians, sword fighting, musicians, acrobats, magicians, jugglers, country and court dancing, belly dancing, bird of prey exhibitions, historic weapons demonstrations, customs and manners lessons, and more. Three jousting tournaments are held every day. Besides, there are games and contests, amusement rides, and other attractions.

The festival also features about 200 vendors selling a variety of goods such as soaps, candles, jewelry, toys and even musical instruments. Some craftsmen also conduct practical demonstrations on how the items are made. Several kitchens offer different drinks and foods, including the festival’s signature treat – giant turkey legs.

Special events held at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival include wine, beer and ale tastings, a vow renewal ceremony and reception, themed weddings, student days for public, private and home schools, picnics and corporate events. Like most other Renaissance fairs, the festival hosts themed weekends such as Celtic Weekend, Royal Ale Festival Weekend, Renaissance Romance Weekend, etc.

Scarborough Renaissance Festival

Photo: Rhett Landry




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