There was something in the air this year that made the Texas
Renaissance Festival a bit more special - and it wasn't the unexpected
chilly weather of the first weekend - it was ... magic!
The theme for this year's festival was "The Magical Realm," chosen to
construct an enchanting and beautiful garden that would add a tranquil
ambiance to the annual festival.
"We are excited about our new shows and setups, especially The Magic
Garden," Marketing Director Orivis Melvin said. The Magic Garden was
designed to honor the magic that exists in the New Market Village and The
"The garden has been discussed for about a year and a half and was
George Coulam's idea," he said. Coulam, owner and president of T.R.F,
enjoys gardening and has designed lovely gardens for the festival, including the Rose Garden, the Water Garden, the English Garden and this year's
highlight, the Magic Garden.
"I have visited the most beautiful gardens in the world and I want to
share the best of what I have seen with our guests," said Coulam.
Festival floriculturist Virginia Spinks called the gardens "a gardener's
dream hidden in a recreated 16th century village."
"It's a nice stroll through the gardens, kind of romantic," Dennis Cowan,
a patron from Lafayette, La., said.
But there were new attractions this year that guests were also drawn to,
like Mourgoth's Outworld Adventure, Arsene Dupin, Isaac Fawlkes, Wine,
Women and Song and The Naughty Nymphs.
Scotland the Brave....
Richard Kean plays the pipes as the Loch Dhu dancers perform to the music. The Loch Dhu Dancers are an
energetic dance troupe that choreographs a number of their own dances. Richard Kean is a talented piper
and is a member of the groups Tartanic and Jiggernaut.
Photo by Kusum Desai
A local troll maintains a peaceful expression
in the chaos of Sherwood Forest. He delighted the children who visited with his unique
Photo by Kusum Desai
"Have at thee!"
Members of the Society for Creative Anachronism battle it out dur-
. ing a chivalric match at the festival. The SCA is a worldwide nonprofit organization that studies the Middle Ages and Renaissance
Photo by Kevin Harwerth
Cindy Bagwell of Houston said she especially enjoyed the new act, The Naughty
Nymphs. "I'm looking forward to seeing it next year," said Bagwell. Bagwell was
one of the many patrons who played dress up at the festival.
"About a quarter of the people here today are in costumes, and we always enjoy
and appreciate their enthusiasm," Melvin said. He was also wearing renaissance
Some of the returning acts included The Dead Bob Show, a festival favorite. It's
a skit that includes a sarcastic and mischievous skeleton dummy that causes
guests to blush and chuckle by embarrassing members of the audience.
Cast in Bronze was expected to be another success this year, Melvin said. Last
year "the audience was mesmerized by the unique sound of the carillon." (A carillon is a stationary set of chromatically tuned bells in a tower, usually played from
Over by the sounds of tambourines was Holly Mathys, from San Antonio. She
and her friends were tempted to dance along in the Gypsy Dance Theatre. "I
decided to bring some friends along to show them how neat the festival can be,"
While some enjoyed the shows, others enjoyed munching on turkey legs,
sausage on a stick and mufaletta sandwiches, among other ethnic foods. Many
other patrons took pleasure in getting their faces painted, bodies tattooed in
henna, hair braiding and having their fortunes told by gypsies.
Artisans and craftspeople also enthralled visitors with jewelry, leather clothing,
hats and sculptures, as well as many other things. The little ones were also
amused by the acts of jugglers, magicians, musicians, puppet shows and, without
a doubt, the elephant rides.
Not only was the festival full of magic this year, but as always, it was packed
- Lupi Velancia
llexas Irvenaissaiice Festival