A quick, half-afternoon trip to the Bristol Renaissance Faire like we tried to do just wasn't enough time. We should have known better that we would need more time at this festival, but as we were just passing through the area and needed to get to a concert on the south side of Chicago, we figured we'd stop and that we didn't need to spend the whole day there. Big mistake.
Upon entering the Faire grounds, we realized that the Bristol Faire was an extremely large place, with a lot of permanent buildings condensed into it to make it feel like a medieval village. And while the grounds themselves may not (or may have) been as large as some of the other festivals we have been to, there was way too much to see there. I don't think even a full day would have allowed us to see and experience everything that the Bristol Renaissance festival had to offer.
As a result of our condensed visit, it is the only Renaissance Faire that I was sorry to leave. That is not to say I didn't enjoy other renaissance festivals, because each one has something to offer, but when we left other festivals, I left confident that I had seen everything that I had wanted to see. Not so with the Bristol Faire.
Another thing about the Bristol Faire that stood out at me was the sheer number of participants that had dressed up in some sort of renaissance era costumes which added to the experience. Most other festivals I have been to, the majority of the patrons were wearing jeans/shorts and some sort of top. Huzzah to the festival goers in Kenosha.
With 120 different stage shows, there are 70 hours of entertainment in a single nine-hour day and never a shortage of things to see and do as you make your way through 20 different venues throughout the Faire. And first year performers are required to undergo 45 hours of training at the Bristol Academy of Performing Arts prior to the start of the season. And don't forget the food, all 73 different varieties of it, such as steak on a stake and monkey tails (chocolate covered bananas).
We will definitely try to get back to this festival, if not this year, than there is always next year. And we will plan to go for the whole weekend.