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Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire

Three weeks of jousting, fairy fun

The band Bowi performs in 2016 at the Hammond Troll Inn at the Washington Renaissance Faire in Bonney Lake. Different musical groups entertain the crowds at the inn and other stages throughout the event. JBLM PAO photo

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Time to drag out your Elizabethan, fairy or pirate costume and get ready to feast on juicy turkey legs, tart pickles and filling meat pies.

The Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire opens this weekend and stays the next three weekends at the Kelley Farm’s Village of Merriwick in Bonney Lake, Wash. The event offers fun, fantasy and faire fare for fairgoers of all ages.

Each weekend has a different theme: Saturday and Sunday is A Midsummer Night’s Fantasy, celebrating all things magical and fantastical; Aug. 12 to 13, Festival of Fairies, entering the world of fairies, trolls, dragons and more; and Aug. 19 to 20 is themed Pirates, Plunder and Arrhhh!

The event also offers an opportunity to bring the kids, learn some history and enjoy making crafts. Guests ages 21 and older can sit in the site’s outdoor pubs and alehouses and enjoy music from a variety of olden day genres.

It’s a time to celebrate the elegance of the royal courts and the rambunctious shenanigans of villagers in a time gone by.

The Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire opened in 2010. The event is hosted by the Washington Renaissance Arts and Education Society and is staffed mainly by volunteers.

The fair represents Elizabethan England in the year 1577, and there are more than 1,000 costumed participants, according to Tracy Nietupski, operations manager for the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire and president of the Washington Renaissance Arts and Education Society.

Performers, merchants, cast and crew come from several states, she said.

“Our patrons come from all over the nation as well,” Nietupski said. “Last summer we had 40,000 people (pass) through our gates to enjoy the Village of Merriwick.”

Guests are encouraged to wear costuming and bring their families, but they are also welcome in modern clothing. The event is in an open field with little shade, so be sure bring or purchase water and wear sunblock and a hat or parasol to guard against excessive heat, Nietupski said.

In addition to traveling minstrels and other performers throughout the weekend, the second and third weekends — Aug. 12 to 13 and Aug. 19 and 20 — also will offer the talents of vaudevillian actor Patrick Hercamp, performing “Half-Hour Hamlet,” a fast, furious and ridiculous version of one of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays, according to event’s website.

In the show, Hercamp plays multiple roles and is sure to make one see the bard’s tragedy in a new and comedic way.

Every weekend, one can enjoy the antics of the comedic women of the Washing Well Witches, the Celtic music of musician Bowi, soothing string sounds of harpist Sarah Lavendar, the fire-eating, magic, juggling and wit of performer Broon, martial arts fighting techniques of the Hawkwood’s Troupe and the jousting finesse of the Seattle Knights.

The Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire is located at the Kelley Farm, 20021 Sumner Buckley Highway, Bonney Lake, and is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Military discounts are available for service members and military spouses with ID. The cost for adults is $17 per day. Children ages 6 to 17 get in for $13 per day; ages 5 and younger will be admitted at no charge.

Pricing is available at the event’s website:

Tickets can be purchased online or at the entrance/Towne Gate with cash or credit card on the day of the event. Parking is free, but lines are long, so have patience.

Well-behaved, leashed pets are welcome to accompany guests at the event. Plan to provide water and bring supplies to clean up after your pet.

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