Maryland Renaissance Festival brings the fun and the traffic

The Maryland Renaissance Festival returns to Crownsville, Maryland, in Anne Arundel County on Saturday, bringing along whoops and hollers, goblets and grails, turkey legs that weigh a pound, spectacles, shows and, unfortunately, some traffic.

The festival is held in the 27-acre, fictional Revel Grove Village in Oxfordshire, England. It runs for nine weeks, until Oct. 23, on weekends, except it will be held on Labor Day. Festivities begin at 10 a.m. and end at 7 p.m. on festival days, according to a news release.

Festivalgoers will need to buy tickets online unless they are with a group of 20 or more. Prices are reduced during the first three weekends, Aug. 27 to Sept. 11.

Charlie Gischlar, a spokesperson for Maryland’s Department of Transportation, said in an email to WTOP that the Renaissance Festival will affect many nearby roadways, including U.S. Route 50, Interstate 97 and state routes 178 and 450. He recommends that motorists look out for overhead message signs and make travel plans using the Coordinated Highway Action Response Team’s website.

Gischlar said Labor Day traffic could be especially cumbersome.

“Many folks will take to the roads to go to the ocean resorts before summer ends, so motorists should expect heavy traffic on these routes, as well as on the Eastern Shore. We recommend that people ‘Go Early and Stay Late,’” Gischlar said in the email.

Festivalgoers have a plethora of entertainment options to choose from at the festival grounds. There are 10 stages with time-piece relevant acts and music, markets full of artists’ handmade wares and streets enlivened by performers — not to mention the 3,000 seat-arena for jousting, Maryland’s state sport.

Through reenactments and shows, the festival opens a portal to 16th-century England, a time when King Henry VIII ruled England.

Each year, the festival progresses through Henry’s tenure on England’s throne. This year at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, it’s 1536, and the gossip around town is all about the king’s soon-to-be third wife, Jane Seymour. According to the Maryland Renaissance Festival’s website, before he can marry his betrothed, King Henry must await the execution of Anne Boleyn, his second wife.

Hugh Garbrick

Hugh graduated from the University of Maryland’s journalism college in 2020. While studying, he interned at the Queen Anne & Magnolia News, a local paper in Seattle, and reported for the school’s Capital News Service. Hugh is a lifelong MoCo resident, and has listened to the local radio quite a bit.

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