4 things to know about this year's Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire
If you go
What: Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire
Where: Mount Hope Estate and Winery, 2775 Lebanon Road, Manheim
When: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from Aug. 1 to Oct. 25, plus Labor Day
Cost: $30.95 at the gate; $25.95 online; children ages 5 to 11, $11.95 and children 4 and under are free.
Details: For more information, visit www.parenfaire.com .
Travel to 1513 this summer to celebrate valiant victories with brews, food and fun at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.
King Henry VIII returns to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire at Mount Hope Estate & Winery in Lancaster County for its 35 season. Greg Ramsey, who is returning to the faire after a 9-year hiatus, will be playing the role of king.
King Henry VIII has returned from France where he won the Battle of Spurs. And while he was away, Queen Catherine of Aragon had her own victory, too. The Scots invaded, and her troops defeated the enemy at the Battle of Flodden Field.
"We're going to be in Mount Hope to party and have a good time," Ramsey said.
Ramsey had worked at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire for 17 years until he left in mid-2000s. He and his wife, Kate, who had played the role of queen, decided to leave to become house parents at the Milton Hershey School. It allowed them to spend more time with their children.
Now that their children are older, they are ready to pursue careers again. His wife is a counselor, and Ramsey returned to acting.
He will be performing at the Kings Court, the Human Chess Match, the Final Joust and Finale and Song. Ramsey's character is happy to rejoin his wife after battle.
"That's what it feels like coming back to all of this," Ramsey said.
Here are some other things to see and do at the faire:
A returning favorite is the pub crawl. It involves visiting four different bars on the fairgrounds and a sample at each one.
It also includes a souvenir glass. Tickets are limited. The cost is $8 in advance through the website, www.parenfaire.com , or $10 at the cigar shop on the fairgrounds.
For the foodie, several new food items will be on the menu:
• The Prime Cut — prime rib sandwich
• The Prancing Pig — Pork pita pocket (pulled pork and macaroni and cheese) with beer, cheese and onion soup
• German Haus — Smoked pork with stout gravy, Bratwurst, Kielbasa
• Sir Lance A-Lot — Baby Bakers (miniature russet potatoes, deep fried)
• Witches Hat — Belgian chocolate hand-dipped specialties
Fun for children
The Royal Falconer, Ash Cary, will entertain children with a live birds of prey demonstration. He will have falcons, hawks and an owl with him. King Henry VIII was a big falcon hunter, and Cary will explain how the birds were used, Smith said.
Boys love the jousting, and two jousts are scheduled daily. The Tournament Joust at 2:30 p.m. shows how knights were trained for battle. The Ultimate Joust at 6 p.m. is a Hollywood-esque show, Smith said.
Children also enjoy the knighting ceremony, in which they are made knights or ladies, she said. They are taught how to bow or curtsy.
Girls like to see the queen, Smith said.
Kristen Spangenberg will be playing Queen Catherine of Aragon for a second season.
The queen as well as other characters walk around the grounds and interact with the visitors.
"Our queen is very approachable and loves kids," Smith said.