The Renaissance. The period between approximately 1400 and 1600 — which bridged the Middle Ages and modern history and saw developments such as astronomy, humanist philosophy, the printing press, painting and sculpture technique, world exploration and, in the late Renaissance, Shakespeare’s works — comes from the French word meaning “rebirth.” The Florida Renaissance Festival, now in its 25th season, transports you back over the course of seven theme-filled weekends. Step back in time and immerse yourself simply by driving to Quiet Waters park through March 26. While you’re there, don’t forget to grab something from the marketplace — support creatives!

Personal highlights include Cast in Bronze — a carillon played by Frank Della Penna. “a silent and masked ‘spirit of the bells’ that appears only to breathe life into the instrument for the performance.” Another was what I can only describe as the roasting pit where you pay to have a friend insulted. One person was told that their face was reminiscent of afterbirth, another was told that in the state of Florida what he does with his hand in his spare-time can be considered domestic abuse. You can find more of the entertainment line-up here. There’s a pub-crawl twice daily at 1PM and 3PM led by a Captain Buck Kinnear, “a Professional Story-teller, Drinker and Host who will Regale you with Historical Tidbits, Bawdy Toasts, and Borderline Risqué Games and Contests!”

March 11-12: Taste of the Festival

Eat and drink your way through the Renaissance during Taste of FLARF Weekend. It’s a feast fit for a King as you indulge in foods reminiscent of the era such as hearty turkey legs, Scotch eggs, Sheppard’s Pie and an assortment of delectable desserts. Wash it all down with traditional mead and aromatic wines that you can freshly stomp yourself!

March 18-19: Kilts and Colleens

Sing and dance along to Irish, Scottish and English tunes throughout the Shire during Celtic Weekend. Don your finest kilt while bagpipes blare.

March 25-26: Viking Barbarian

Viking and Barbarians Weekend is when you and your Norwegian brothers and sisters can wave your battleaxes while covered in leather and fur, yelling with the fury of Odin.

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