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10 Classic Renaissance Faires Across America

10/11/2011 01:22 pm ET | Updated Dec 06, 2011

2011-10-06-renfaire_lulu.jpg As autumn rounds the corner, and Halloween is nearing, Renaissance Faire season is in full swing. Dedicated to recreating historical times with traditional food, drink, costumes, and entertainment, Renaissance Faires are a fun place for the entire family. With new and well-established faires thrown from coast to coast, these seasonal festivities are no longer reserved for history buffs and young children.

Although most faires follow a similar traditional format -- choosing a specific time frame during the Renaissance, booking culturally relevant entertainment, and serving bowlfuls of hearty stews with a side of turkey legs -- there can be significant differences between them, from themes to faire eats. Each year in October, Wisconsin's Chippewa Valley Renaissance Festival abandons tradition and turns into a haunted celebration, complete with a graveyard, haunted hayride, and spooks. Then, the Winslowshire Renaissance Festival in Massachusetts, has a unique charity angle with a portion of its proceeds benefitting abandoned animals.

The Sherwood Forest Faire, where Robin Hood can be found practicing his archery and fairies are seen wandering through the enchanted forest, is a classic example of a traditional Renaissance Faire. Learn Renaissance lingo over authentic faire fare like turkey legs, steak-on-a-stake, and mugs full of ale. For a taste of the Renaissance's adventurous side, the Texas Renaissance Festival serves dragon meat on a stick, the Prince's honey herb wine, and Blackbeard's Stash (aka blackberry cobbler).

So grab your fairy wings and bring a hearty appetite. America's Renaissance faires are serving some traditional eats and time-honored tournaments. Dance to roaming minstrels, enjoy theatrical jousts, and celebrate the changing of the seasons at faires across the country.

- Leora Novick, The Daily Meal

10 Classic Renaissance Faires Across America