Renaissance Festival Celebrates 30 Years

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It isn't your ordinary festival. In fact, it's about six centuries and a few decades in the making.

"We have people here who have been coming to the festival for 30 years, and it's just fabulous," said Javier Castillo, who performs as a singing conquistador at the Texas Renaissance Festival. "And this is our anniversary."

For thirty years, Ren Fest has drawn the masses to Plantersville, where the past comes alive.

"It's a very unusual place," said Sally Locklear, who came with her family on the first weekend of the festival. "People dress up in costumes, and I always enjoy that. There are lots of interesting shops, and the shows are good."

"What really attracts me to it is putting on a show, said Jeff Thompson, who is a part of the Scottish Highland Games at Ren Fest. "I am a ham. I'm a bit of a showoff. I dress a little funny, so I need a place to do it."

Thompson is known as Mayhem by his fellow competitors. He and his muscle-bound friends toss many a heavy item in their games.

"We put it in a show format to where it's presentable to an audience," said Thompson. "so people who don't normally see someone caber-toss but only hear about it get to see it."

"In ordinary lives, we're professionals," said Castillo. "We do whatever we do for a living. We need something at least once a year, and that's what Texas Ren Fest does for you. You have to come back.

"The entertainment, the food is fabulous," he added. "But I think the most important thing is escape, to be able to go back. Only in fantasies can you go back to the 1400s and 1500s, and Texas Renaissance Festival does that for you."

All the events are filled with family fun, from the tamest to the most dangerous, like knife throwing.

"When the knives went by and I could feel the wind, that was my first indication that they were close," said Bob Locklear, who participated in a knife throwing demonstration along with his wife.

The festival goes on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the fall.