Tuesday, July 1, 2014

OPENING: Bristol Renaissance Faire Set to Open July 5 #ChiILPicksList #OriginalPhotos

New Fare in Store at Bristol Renaissance Faire
“Country’s Best Renaissance Faire”

ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Picks List for Family Friendly Fun/Weekend Road Trips

**All children 12 & younger receive FREE admission opening weekend only.**

Approximate Travel Times:
Milwaukee: 30 Min., Chicago: 50 min., Madison: 2 hr. 15 min.

We adore the "Ren Faire" and make a point to go multiple times each summer, as a family. The people watching is prime and you'll fit in just fine whether you love to dress up or dress down.  All time travelers are welcome in merry olde England. Huzzah! Whether your trip is Steampunk, authentic period costumes, fantasy, or comfy 21st century midwestern wear... you'll find your tribe at Bristol Renaissance Faire.

Click here & scroll down to check out loads of ChiIL Mama's past photo filled Ren Faire features, hot tips, and favorite, must see acts. (We've done 24+ features on Bristol Renaissance Faire over the years!) Check out some of our favorite photos at the end of this post. 

Voted “Country’s Best Renaissance Faire” for the third consecutive year in 2013, the Bristol Renaissance Faire will open Saturday, July 5, for nine weekends through Labor Day Monday. This summer’s 27th annual Bristol Renaissance Faire promises the same perennially popular compliment of 16th Century merriment, music, food and games that have repeatedly earned top national honors from subscribers of Renaissance Magazine and the Renaissance Festival Podcast, along with some new twists, like a super-charged joust that producers are touting as the most exciting in the country.
An explosive spectacle of thundering horses, bone-crushing hits and surprise theatrical finales, this summer’s joust will raise the bar on Faire-goers’ favorite spectator sport. Knights will boldly fight to be the day’s champion through a series of equestrian endeavors and alternating tests of skill, then determinedly compete to best one another in fully armored jousts of adrenalin-pumping intensity. The lances will be solid, the hits real, the tempers genuine, the dynamics ever-changing, and the outcomes edge-of-your-seat unpredictable.

Also among the unprecedented, Bristol’s interactive, multi-player fantasy game, RenQuest, will unveil a brand new DaVinci-inspired story line. Producers are also premiering Queen’s College, an immersive environment in which Faire-goers can learn period skills ranging from basket-weaving and candle-making to chain-maille construction. Further enhancing the living landscape of the 30-acre village, an expanded Bristol Marketplace will welcome an eclectic array of resident merchants and rotating guest artists; stages will resound with one of the best line-ups of nonstop entertainment to-date, and always-bustling streets will be dotted with an extravagant entourage of larger-than-life animal puppets.

Flying Dragons and Clashing Swords

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. 

My husband did the audio for the Swordsmen's DVD. 
Buy one. It's hilarious.

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 a breathtaking aerial silk act making its U.S. debut at Bristol this summer. Suspended from the trees of the wooded Faire site, the Draiku aerial duo will provide a dazzling display of airborne Chinese Dragon artistry.  

Among this summer’s special musical guests, the explosive Celtic group, Tartanic, will appear during the Faire’s first and third weekends; Wolgemut, a high-energy minstrel troupe whose name in ancient German literally means “to be in a good mood,” will perform two weekends in July, and VaNa MaZi will arrive with its unique brand of Gypsy Jazz, throughout the month of August. Making their Bristol debut in 2014 are the Merry Wives of Windsor, an 11-piece, all-female folk band that has taken the West Coast Renaissance festival circuit by storm.

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 180 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.  

Expanding upon the interactive nature of the Bristol Marketplace, the new Queen’s College transports would-be crafters and history buffs alike into an immersive environment where they can learn a rotating variety of 16thCentury arts from basket-weaving and candle-making to chain-maille construction.

Live Action Fantasy-Play
Bristol’s ever-evolving live action fantasy-play game, RenQuest, has become one of the most highly anticipated events of the Faire season. Following the epic conclusion of RenQuest’s Chaos Trilogy in 2013, this summer’s departure to a DaVinci theme opens up the playing field to endless inspiration from the inventor’s imagination. Originating in 2008, RenQuest brings the worldwide popularity of massively multiplayer online role-playing games, like World of Warcraft, into the live action dimension of the Renaissance Faire. The interactive theatrical gaming experience offers players an unprecedented opportunity to experience the Faire through completing quests, honing skills and defeating evil villains. The game spans the entire 30-acre Faire site and employs 30 non-playing characters dedicated to enriching the fantasy experience for patron-players.

Kids Quests provide the Faire’s younger patrons, ages 4 to 10, with two daily opportunities to embark on their own, age-appropriate adventures. Led by Jack and Jill, the 30-minute quests team youngsters with Bristol’s fairy tale creatures in a search for treasure and excitement.

More Kid-Friendly Fun
The Bristol Renaissance Faire is filled with kid-inspired experiences, including more than 30 games and rides, shows that make kids laugh, and special play areas bursting with whimsy and photo-snapping charm. Always entertaining and engaging, Bristol’s Kids Kingdom boasts a climb-aboard pirate ship, giant sandbox, crafts and games activity center, its own theater and a full cast of beloved characters. New to the Kingdom this summer, the Normal Sisters will invite children into their world of witchcraft for a hilarious, interactive stage show called “Caldron Mishaps.” Daily magic shows, story-telling and interactive role-playing adventures also take center stage throughout the day, and at 4:30 p.m., Queen Elizabeth herself shows up in Kids Kingdom for the celebrated Knighting Ceremony, at which she personally dubs all attending children lords and ladies.

Lady Sage & Lady Ettie
Other popular, kid-friendly diversions include mad-cap tea parties with Lady Ettie, kid pike drills at the Military Encampment, toy ship sailing on Mouseboro Pond, and chance encounters with the Faire’s most elusive inhabitants, curious faeries known as Fantastikals, who this summer will be enjoying a newly landscaped Fairy Garden. 

Mark Your Calendars

Weekend 1, July 5 & 6
Opening Weekend  - Welcome to the Bristol Renaissance Faire where fantasy rules and whimsical delights take flight; where worlds coexist and dreams come to life! All children 12 & younger receive free admission this weekend only.

Weekend 2, July 12 & 13
Swashbuckler Weekend - Yar! Hoist the mainsails and dress as your inner pirate! 

The Pirate Joke Off
Pig & Whistle Pub, time TBA
Adults! Find your ONE favorite pirate joke, take the stage at the Pig & Whistle Pub and make us laugh. The joke that makes the largest splash wins a drink! (Must be 21 to participate.) Due to the unpredictable nature of adults and jokes, this event is rated NC-17.
The Child Pirate Joke Show
Kids Kingdom stage, time TBA
Children! Find your one favorite pirate joke, take the stage at Kid's Kingdom and tell everyone! This event is for children age 5-12.

Weekend 3, July 19 & 20
Steampunk Invasion (our favorite specialty weekend here at ChiIL Mama/ChiIL Live Shows!)

We invite all our guests to dress up in your finest time-traveling attire. No matter which century you portray, we're looking forward to celebrating a leap back (or forward) in time! This weekend only: The return of the Absinthe Bar (near the Lord Mayor's Forum Stage), and a special visit from the Green Fairy.

The Steampunk Promenade Costume Contest with cash prizes for the most elegant man, woman and couple! Saturday only - time and location TBA
The Marvelous Steampunk Accessory Contest with cash prizes for the three most unique accessories!
Sunday only - time and location TBA

Weekend 4, July 26 & 27
Fantasy Costume Contest / Historical Costume Contest
Saturday - Fantasy Costumes
Sunday - Historical (Rome thru WWII) Costumes
Adult Contest - no age restrictions
Interested patrons will register at the Guest Services Gazebo (before 3pm) and will be given a number to attach to the back of their costume. Ten anonymous judges will be surveying the entries throughout the day.
Mix and mingle with contestants and judges alike from 4:00pm until 4:30pm on the lush green field between the Maypole and the Towne Square Public House. Gather together for a group photo, and make one final impression on the judges before they cast their votes! Registered contestants will receive one free soda, cider or beer from our waitresses. IT IS HIGHLY ENCOURAGED THAT YOU ATTEND THIS EVENT SO ALL JUDGES CAN SEE YOUR COSTUME.

Semi-finalists will be announced at the Globe Stage at 5:30 p.m. One champion each day will win $100 cash and tickets to the Faire. Second and third place finalists will also win Faire tickets.

Kids Contest - for participants age 12 and younger
There will be separate contests for children on both Saturday and Sunday in Bristol's Kids Kingdom. Do not register at the Guest Services Gazebo - simply be at Kids Kingdom at the time printed on the stage schedule.

Weekend 5, August 2 & 3
Marketplace Bonus Ticket Weekend
Shop the wares of more than 175 merchants and artisans, spend $200 in a day, and then present your receipts at the Guest Services Gazebo to receive two complimentary tickets valid any one day of the 2014 season!
(Limit 2 tickets per adult customer.)

Weekend 6, August 9 & 10
Wenches Weekend
In celebration of the women in our lives, the Bristol Renaissance Faire is hosting "A Taste of the Faire," a self-hosted Wine Tasting through five of our pubs. Tickets are $35 dollars and may be purchased at the Guest Services Gazebo. Upon purchase you will receive a wristband that entitles you to five tastes of wine at pre-determined ale stands, each of which will be featuring a different wine!

Weekend 7, August 16 & 17
Salute to Uniforms & Scouts Weekend
ANY SCOUT (Boy Scout, Girl Scout, Spiral Scout) is welcome to participate. Leaders and scouts IN uniform receive a discount for their entire party - no coupon needed. Adults $15. Child (age 5-12) $5. There will be a list of scout-related badge work available at the faire. All scouts can complete a passport to earn a patch. $5 per patch, $3 per rocker patch per year.
RETURNING this year: Letterboxing! Don't forget to bring a notebook to collect your letterboxes from Bristol. For more information about letterboxing, visit this website: www.letterboxing.org
Salute to Uniforms: This special discount is for Active and Veteran Military, Police, Fire Department and EMT personnel with valid ID. Coupon coming soon.
(We'd love to see your affiliated T-shirts at Bristol!)

Weekend 8, August 23 & 24
#BristolFun and Pride Day
Come to play at Bristol this weekend. Take photos of the fun you have and tag them with #BristolFun on Facebook or Twitter. We'll feature our favorites in our feed!
Saturday - Pride Day!

Weekend 9, August 30 & 31, September 1
Closing Weekend
One final chance to shout, "Merry Meet! Merry Part! And Merry Meet Again!"

Taking 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 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 5 through Sep. 1, and on Labor Day Monday, Sep. 2, 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.

A Few Key Ren Faire Memories:

In 2010, Sir Du-Jay lost a tooth in his valiant 300 battle against the barbarians. Thank goddess it was a very loose baby tooth and nothing more permanent!   I swear they said...not in the face...not in the face, in the rules before the battle began?!

Every year the kids get up on stage with Barely Balanced, right after their set, and strut their gymnastics, acro and circus skills. It's too much fun and the performers are great with the kids! Truly memorable times.

Now it's ChiIL Mama's circus kids' turn--Check out Sage & Du below.

ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Tips:

Bring something fun to add to the magic web.

Keep your cool with a Mile High Chocolate Crepe or at least ChiIL out with an awesome waffle cone!!

Flashback! Photo Favs 2010-13:

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