Maryland Renaissance Festival
The festival is a whole lot of fun. It's an excuse to drink and eat in excess, to dress in weird clothes and to oggle fellow festival goers.
The location of the festival is a small-town-sized complex with permanent buildings and lots and lots of beautiful shade trees. It's populated by a large number of actors and acrobats who stroll about in fantastic costumes (here is Jane Seymour and her lady-in-waiting being wooed by a pirate).
A lot of the attendees also dress up, most of them in period dress but a lot of the kids come in their goth attire, complete with black capes and multitudinous piercings. It's people watching at it's best. I got to wear my beautiful renaissance period Scottish fighting jacket and tucked my black jeans into my boots, and my wife wore a gown and a large cockroach pin, very lifelike.
Musicians wander about playing period music, and there's a schedule full of dramas, comedys, acrobatics and music on 3 different permanent stages.
The arts and crafts available here are serious including renaissance and medieval weapons of all kinds (only actors are allowed to carry these however), sumptuous clothing, and jewelry. I almost bought a sword, a replica of the one Strider/Aaragorn carried at the battle of Helms Deep.
We're looking forward to doing it again next year. What a great way to take a vacation, not just to another place, but to another time.