Do you ever dream of days dressing up and going back to another era? Then this Faire might be for you. This August, the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire in Bonney Lake, WA will be open for three weekends of revelry and mischief.
Performances and Events
A day out at the Faire included so many performances, activities, and shops as well as food and drink booths. I recommend keeping the Schedule of Performances and Map of Merriwick on your phone before and during your visit to help map out your time at the faire. I went the first weekend and knew one of the acts I wanted to see was only performing that weekend, at a certain time, so I made sure to schedule them into our day of fun.
The Faire has six performance spaces, with an ongoing schedule of merriment to enjoy. Make sure to catch Her Majesty’s Joust and Tournament, which happens twice a day in the Zamperla Tournament Arena. This is the main event of the Faire. It has two large seating areas of bleachers under shaded awnings.
I also recommend The Raptor Event which takes place in the Arena, or you can visit the birds at their booth in between shows. Stop and see performances at all six venues from various comedians, storytellers, jugglers, musicians and even fire breathers. Broon, a comedian, had an especially funny show during my visit.
Shopping and Food
The Village of Merriwick has many merchants. There are artisan booths scattered throughout the Faire grounds. You can shop for jewelry, metalwork including knives and swords, leather masks and capes, artwork, hair accessories, find your own crown, hats, pottery, and woodworking — the list goes on. Check out more about the Faire merchants here.
Finally, make time to stop at the food market. Gyros, pizza, donuts, crepes, giant bricks of french fries, and turkey legs are made daily to lure in any visitor. Plenty of seating is available under three covered tents in the market area or you can take food to go and enjoy it at a table in one of the two taverns. There are several food booths at the centralized food market, and there are several water and soda stalls scattered throughout the grounds. One vendor travels around with a pickle cart if you have a craving while occupying yourself roaming the village grounds.
Visiting with Children
Luckily, there is a multitude of activities to keep all ages amused at the Faire. Visit the face painting booth, get your hair done at the Hair Braiding Station, entertain the younger kids at the Children’s Games stall, or challenge the older children at the Cat v. Canary tabletop game corner.
Adults and kids can get a lesson in historical fencing at Hawkwood’s Troope, as well as try their hand at archery in the Warrior of the Steppes booth. Does anyone in your group have dreams of being a real knight of the round table? Visit the Queen’s Pavilion at 2:00 PM for the official Knighting Ceremony.
Make sure to stop by the Oakwood Pavilion for storytime and puppet shows for the little ones, as well as visit the Wyldewood Fae Glade to go on a fairy hunt with Woton the Fairysmasher. Woton is a giant hunter with a smashing hammer but is a great entertainer. He was seen with a gaggle of children running around the Faire smashing (make-believe) fairies throughout the afternoon.
For the Adults
Kid-free for the day? Raise a glass at either of the 21+ taverns, including the Red Dragon Inn and the Hammered Troll. Both options offer beer, cider, and mead. The Red Dragon Inn includes a seating area next to the Arena, so you can catch the raptor show, joust tournament, or learn about the history of weapons with your medieval mead in hand.
The Hammered Troll is a roped-off pub area with its own stage and performers. I caught a show by Chaste Treasure, a trio of ladies with a bawdy sense of humor who sing about rather UNchaste topics. They were hilarious and extremely entertaining, especially while enjoying a pint on a sunny summer day. Remember to check the schedule to catch a show on your visit! In the Hammered Troll, play a game of Tankard Toss to pass the time and have a laugh with your friends.
There are also after-hours events at the Faire. Each Friday there is a 21+ themed party at the Hammered Troll from 7-12 PM with various entertainment including face painting, karaoke, and photo booth. The evening parties are $12 at the door, or free if you’ve paid to camp on site for the weekend.
Top Tips to Enjoy the Faire
Go early. There is only one entrance and though parking is plentiful, the traffic was fierce. Try to get there before the gates open at 10 AM.
Pack your own water and snacks. Water and soft drink stands were scattered around the Faire, outside of the food court area, but the cost for one 16 oz. bottle of water was $3.00. You are allowed to bring backpacks and strollers, so I recommend packing your own water and sodas for you and the family to save some cash. The food is outstanding at the Faire, but the lines get tiring. Bring some nibbles to hold you over if you don’t want to wait in long lines multiple times throughout the day. Better to spend it on the wide-range of faire activities and artisan booths.
Dress up! If you really want to get into the Faire experience, become a character. Each weekend has a theme, but costumes of all sorts were present and welcomed. Pirates, gypsies, barbarians, fairies, lords, ladies, vikings, peasants, even Star Wars characters can be seen at the Faire. So bring out that old Halloween costume or put together your own to enjoy the days of yore.
There is so much to do, see, eat, drink, and play at this Renaissance Faire, you might want to visit again and again. I know I can’t wait to!
Dates & Themes
August 7th-8th Barbarians at the Gate
August 14th-15th Myths and Magic
August 21st-22nd Wandering Through Time