Do you long for the days when dragons were still around?  When witches were predicting the future in trochaic tetrameter with pinpoint accuracy?  When strange women lying in ponds distributing swords were the sole basis for the system of government?  Well, you’re in luck, because the 47th Minnesota Renaissance Festival is coming to town this August through October!All of the Renaissance Festival’s cherished standbys are returning this year.  Live entertainment including real jousting, musical acts, stage acts, Mermaid Cove, Fairy Wing Forest, the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, belly dancing, jugglers, costume actors, character actors, and much, much more will be there to dazzle you.  Over 250 artisans will offer their handmade wares such as jewelry, pottery, worked wood, leatherwork, paintings, hand-blown glass, and fine metal craftsmanship.  The Minnesota Herpetological Society will also attend to show you the few remaining descendants of the original dragons.  If you prefer animals with a little more fuzz, you can take to the petting zoo, and you can ride a llama, camel, or even a real live elephant!

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You can eat new medieval delicacies like the Unicorn Sundae and the Pickle Juice Icy this year, and the colossal menu of barbecue, fried things, sweet things, skewered things, and crêpes and curds and cones and far too much more to list is returning in full force, too.

Check in advance to see which weekend’s theme you most want to experience.  Once Upon a Time weekend will focus on fairy tales, fantasy, and science fiction, perfect for kids.  Wine, Chocolate, and Romance weekend will focus on wine, chocolate, and romance, perfect for adults.  (You can even renew your wedding vows for free!)  Oktoberfest weekend will focus on drinking beer out of comically oversized vessels, perfect for magazine writers.  Pets and Pirates weekend will cater to the pups.  This is only a sampling of the many themed weekends the Festival will host during its 2017 run!

New attractions this year include the Wizard’s Flight School Zip Line, Merlin’s Magic Quest, the King Arthur Obstacle Course, and a live unicorn (presumably on loan from North Korea).  Adult dogs are welcome to attend provided that they fill out the dog registration form on the Festival’s website and promise not to bother the live unicorn.

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival begins on Sunday, August 19th and will continue on until October 1st.  The show will go on during weekends and Labor Day, rain or shine.  Visit renaissancefest.com for tickets and more information including directions on how to get to the Festival located seven miles south of Shakopee on Highway 169.

By David Scheller