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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Oxford Renaissance Festival set for June in Woodstock

The Oxford Renaissance Festival will be held at the Woodstock Fair grounds. The festival will roll out on June 14-16th, 2013.

The Oxford Renaissance Festival brings the legends of Kinghts and wenches to life through Medieval comedy, fire-eating performances, magic shows, jousting with horses. Celtic music and ale. Enjoy authentic renaissance foods, and family entertainment throughout the weekend.

If you've never been to a Renaissance Faire, here's what to expect

Oxford Renaissance Festival offer visitors the chance to shed their modern selves and adopt a persona from ye days of olde.
  -  Lots of shops selling Renaissance apparel, swords, and artwork.
  -  Lots of food and drink (Think roasted turkey legs and wine)
   – Comic skits and hilarious performance artists
   – Shortened versions of Shakespeare's plays
   – Celtic / Medieval musicians and dancers
   – Jugglers, stilt-walkers and other tricksters
   – Jousting and swordplay (Hopefully in an arena!)
   – Wandering actors, portraying historical figures such as Leonardo DaVinci and Queen Elizabeth 

The Oxford Renaissance Faire takes the era a bit loosely. Costumes and characters from the 1300's all the way up to the mid-1600's can be discovered throughout the faire.
Historically the Renaissance took place between late 13th century, and its impact continued all the way to the early 17th century. Most "Pleasure Faires" place themselves during England's Renaissance during the late 1500's. However, one still might spot Michelangelo or Machiavelli frolicking about. However, with all the ale and mead available, you won't mind the anachronisms!

Dressing the Part:
Many guests arrive in costume. Others choose to rent a Renaissance outfit from one of the many costume stores like McCulloch's in London, or Queen of Hearts Kitchener to name a few. Of course, many people show up in modern day attire. However, be forewarned: the 16th century characters might poke fun as they marvel at your cell phones, wrist watches, and contemporary attire. General costumes for males are of the swashbuckler variety. 

Ladies often opt for the "wench look" with a combination of corsets and cleavage. If you are the modest type, don't fret. Many folks dress in prudish Puritan garments (making sure not to expose anything sinful – such as a woman's ankle!)

Many Renaissance fairs are set during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England. Some are set earlier, during the reign of Henry VIII, or in other countries, such as France, and some are set outside the era of the Renaissance; these may include earlier Medieval periods (including Vikings), or later periods, such as 17th-18th Century pirates. Some engage in deliberate "time travel" by encouraging participants to wear costumes representing several eras in a broad time period. Renaissance fairs encourage visitors to enter into the spirit of things with costumes and audience participation. We welcome all of the above and fantasy elements such as wizards and elves.

Audience Participation:
Renaissance Faire employees do their best to stay in character. Even the maidens selling "steak-on-a-stick" enthusiastically engage in Elizabethan dialog. Guests are encouraged to interact with the performers. In fact, many "regulars" purchase a "Faire Pass" that allows them to attend every day of the Renaissance Faire. Then, they spend their entire weekends embracing their 16th century persona.

If you would like to try "getting into character" at the Faire, you'll want to know the lingo:

The Basics:
Thou = You (Nominative Form, as in: "You are a pig!" / "Thou art a swine!" Thee = You (Objective Form, as in: "I love you!" / "I love thee!" Thy = Your (Possessive Form, as in: "Your eyes are beautiful." / "Thy eyes are beautiful." Methinks = "I think" Zounds = "God's wounds" (Used as an oath or an expletive.) Huzzah = "Hooray!!!" (When in doubt, just shout "Huzzah," everyone else at the Faire does!)

Take It Up a Notch:
To sound really sophisticated, get to know a few Shakespearean monolog's. Even if you don't memorize them, you should be able to pick up a few cool phrases or sentences. If you would rather not delve into the philosophical soliloquies of Hamlet, then at least check out this handy list of Shakespearean insults. The more knowledge you attain, the more you are likely to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of the Renaissance Faire.

  • 875 Nellis Street Woodstock, ON
  • Oxford Renaissance Festival - 2013 (1st Season, About 2 Hours From Toronto)

    Fri June 14 to Sun 16, 2013
    (10am - 7pm daily)



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