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5 people you see at the Florida Renaissance Festival

If we had a time machine, the Renaissance is not necessarily the time period we would want to linger in, what with leeches doing all the healing and the feudal system still going strong. But the Renaissance still captures our imagination because it was a time of discovery: turns out the earth is round, there are people on the other side of it, we revolve around the sun, etc. Also, it has cool stuff like gallant knights, princesses and mead, which is basically beer. The Florida Renaissance Festival is back through March 27 at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach and these are folks who you find trying to party like it’s 1499.  


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1. People who look like they work there (but really do not)

Florida Renaissance Festival is like Comic Con for history nerds. They get dressed up in authentic Renaissance garb, wander the grounds and everyone thinks they are roaming minstrels, but no! These folks will dress their kids up as well, creating the next generation of Renaissance Festival fans. 




2. Girls who like to wear corsets

Halloween and Renaissance Festival are the best opportunity for women to throw on a risque historical costume without getting a second glance. Just make sure it’s not so tight you can’t eat a few giant turkey legs. 


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3. People who take Renaissance Festival very seriously

Obviously the idea is to keep the event authentic, so everyone who works at the festival is going to stay in character all day. But the best is when you chat up vendors and they come up with awesome back stories (“My father was a blacksmith, and his father before him, and on through the ages!”). The British accents will be everywhere and the word “Huzzah!” will spring forth from every mouth.  


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4. People who like to get dirty

Nothing says medieval Europe like questionable sanitation, so don’t be surprised when you see a bunch of dudes sliding through the mud in front of a crowd of screaming onlookers who will likely get splashed. It is actually one of the rowdiest acts in the fair. They are just trying to inoculate themselves against the Black Death. 


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5. People who like to wear armor in the hot Florida sun

It makes you wonder how Ponce de Leon and company survived that tour of Florida looking for the Fountain of Youth since the fashion of the day involved strapping metal plates to one’s body. Keeping the tradition alive, the knights who participate in Florida Renaissance Festival are ready to sweat like sows for your entertainment. Because that is what knights do. 


Photos from Miami Herald archives


Weekend themes: 

Vikings and Valkyries – Feb. 20 – 21  

 Fantasy and Adventure – Feb. 26- 28:  

Voyage to the Orient – March 5 – 6  

Kilts & Colleens – March 12 – 13  

Time Travelers’ Weekend – March 19 – 20 


Carnivale Masquerade – March 26 – 27