This year (2013) marks the 33rd year for this themed event which occurs over 12 weekends from early August through late October on the grounds of the Mount Hope Estate and Winery in Manheim, PA.
The Mount Hope estate was sold in 1980 and converted to a winery which then hosted a two-day jousting festival called the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire held in the winery parking lot. The event proved so popular that it was expanded in successive years.
By 2009, the Faire became an annual event held on a 35-acre site with 90 shows performed daily on 12 stages, hundreds of costumed performers, and a recreation of a 16th century English village with authentic styled Tudor buildings.
Musical performances, Shakespearean plays and other acts are offered. Also, nearly two dozen "Royal Kitchens" serve food and drink and "Renaissance" merchants provide goods on site for a price of course.
While the adult Faire admission is a bit steep at $29.95 (seniors get a $5 discount) there are numerous events to see throughout the grounds at no additional cost, featuring jesters, jousts, acrobats, magicians, musical performances, and a human chess match. In addition, discount days are offered through the run of the Faire.
There are dozens of costumed characters ranging from English noblemen and ladies to Queen Elizabeth the First and her royal court walking everywhere.
Everywhere you walk,you will see performers in period costumes. Also, many attendees go to the faire wearing their own creative (and unusual) costumes.
We spent a little over 6 hours here and could easily have stayed longer to catch more performances, but ran out of time before meeting family members for dinner.