BRISTOL (WITI) -- Now in its 26th year, the Bristol Renaissance Faire opened up this weekend, and runs through Labor Day!
The Faire offers 20 entertainment stages, a fully armored joust, arts and crafts, food, fine spirits, music, dance, parades, rides and games and even street entertainers -- offering a little something for everyone!
In Bristol, near the Wisconsin-Illinois border, Renaissance Faire-goers step back in time, to experience life in the village as it existed centuries ago.
"It is the year of our Lord, 1574. It is the 16th year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth," Mastor Peter Cabot said.
The Faire aims to make visitors a part of various shows on roughly 30 acres.
"There’s entertainment. There’s merchants. If you just want to sit in a glade and like, watch a fairy prance about for two hours—you can do that. There’s all types of wonderful food. Just come with an open mind and, you know, be willing to play with us because, you know—that’s what you’re here for," Dorothy Belle with the Bawdy Belles said.
Last year, the Bristol Renaissance Faire was voted the country's best Renaissance Faire!
"The thing I enjoy most about the Bristol Renaissance Faire and doing the Fire Whip Show at the Bristol Renaissance Faire is the great crowds that we have out here. I say, these crowds out here are the most enthusiastic crowds you’ll find anywhere in the country," Adam Crack said.
"It’s such a bizarre, wonderful, magical place that you don’t get anywhere else," Cameron said.
Cameron of the performance group "Barely Balanced" says he is one of more than a thousand costumed performers who may help you make a quick cameo!
"There’s no ‘fourth-wall.’ They’re coming out, into the audience. Your friend might get pulled up. You might become a part of the show. You don’t know what’s gonna happen, and that’s what keeps it so fresh and alive," Cameron said.
With nine weeks of performances, that freshness is important to maintain until Labor Day, when the Faire says farewell -- until next year.
The Bristol Renaissance Faire is open from 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
CLICK HERE for additional information on Bristol Renaissance Faire.