Texas Renaissance Festival opens its doors

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renaissanceConnie Deng

On Sat. Oct. 10, the Texas Renaissance Festival kicked off its season with a packed opening weekend. Women in corsets and hoop skirts bustled around with fake fox skins hanging on their belts or over their shoulders. Stall keepers yelled at people passing by in British accents that varied in quality. Magical creatures such as elves, fairies and giant walking trees wandered by, enjoying the festivities. It was like entering a different world. Sophomore Kwon Teimchaiyapoom described her experience.

“My friends and I mostly just walked around,” Teimchaiyapoom said. “We watched portions of a few acts, one of my friends got her fortune read and we got hennas.”

The Texas Renaissance Festival is a theme park that runs for eight weekends through October to November. Voted Best Cultural Festival in the U.S. by USA Today, the festival lives up to its name with over 200 daily performances and 400 shoppes. It offers 55 acres of authentic 16th century English township complete with exciting activities like mazes, petting zoos and camel and elephant rides, as well as some not authentic, but still fun, things such as henna tattoos and carnival rides and games.

“There were a lot of things to do,” Teimchaiyapoom said. “There was jousting, plays, a lot of food stands and a bunch of shops that sold jewelry, clothes, swords and pottery.”

To match the ambiance of the festival, many people showed up in costumes of the time period. While quite a few wore regular clothes, the majority of visitors appeared in Renaissance garb, some more authentic than others. The festival offered costume rentals for those that don’t have to time to find or make such an elaborate clothing, but regardless of whether or not one had a costume, a great time was guaranteed.

However, the activities and goods were expensive. Everything in the festival cost a good amount of money, and being prepared is always best. Teimchaiyapoom gave some advice.

“Bring a lot of money,” Teimchaiyapoom said. “Going to the Renaissance Festival isn’t cheap, and you should always bring more money than you think you need so that you won’t have to stress about not being able to do certain activities.”

The festival, although pricey, is an event not to be missed. Special weekends such as the Pirate Adventure (October 24 and 25), All Hallows Eve (October 31 and November 1), Roman Bacchanal (November 7 and 8) and more are sure to be a blast. Furthermore, the festival offers camping grounds for extended entertainment.

“It was a lot of fun,” Teimchaiyapoom said. “I had a great time; the whole thing was very energetic. It’s one of those places that’s really fun when you’re just hanging out with your friends. I just wish that I wore a costume.”