The magic and mystique of the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival has returned, bringing new entertainment, artisans and displays for the thousands who come annually to take a step back in time.
The festival, held in West Newton, was canceled last year due to COVID-19.
“I think one of our longtime cast members said it was like finally coming home,” said Kristy Ekiss, operations manager for the Colorado and Pittsburgh renaissance festivals. “We get just as much joy from our audience as we hope to create, so it was hard being away from that magic for so long.”
Running through Oct. 10, the festival features different themed weekends. Sept. 11-12 celebrates “Love and Romance;” Sept. 18-19 is a “Pirate Invasion;” Sept. 25-26 is “Wine Revelry;” Oct. 2-3 is a “Celtic Fling” and Oct. 9-10 is “Oktoberfest: A Final Huzzah.”
Returning favorites to the festival are The Knights of Noble Cause, which features the pageantry and chivalry of knights of old coming to life before the audiences' eyes; armored jousts three times a day and Dragonfire as Wilsome the Firebreather returns with new stunts and comedy.
New entertainment includes The Reelin Rogues, who play rollicking-good tunes and music in the Bardic tradition; Knightwings, a historical and educational master falconer who displays her craft for audiences, and Boom Boom Shake, which is full of drums, dancing and merriment.
Ekiss said the festival has nine stages of entertainment featuring music, dancing, comedy, sword fighting and more.
“We have a very small, but dedicated full-time staff and the rest is made up with local people who enjoy dressing up and working on the weekends,” Ekiss said. “Between staff, artisans, and entertainment, we really do make a small village.”
She added that a wide range of artisans will be on hand with items made in their shops including opulent hand-sewn costumes, leather armor, fantastical millenary creations, wooden swords for knights in training, hand-carved stone home goods and decor, wearable leather dragons, kilts, original art and prints, handmade goblets and containers, sauces, marinades, drink mixes, leather purses and belt and tooled-leather art, face paintings, furs, hats, wraps, crossbows and more.
The 2021 Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival is open, rain or shine, on Saturdays and Sundays now until Oct. 10 from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Admission is $24 for adults and $12 for children ages 5 to 12. Children four and under are free.
Tickets can be purchased at the website www.pittsburghrenfest.com at a discount price or at their on-site box office on festival days at 112 Renaissance Lane, West Newton, 15089.
Coupons can be found at Wendy’s and Eat N Park and must be redeemed at the box office.
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