The Renaissance Festival (until April 3)

Unlike art walks, the Renaissance Festival is all about people watching and shenanigans. So grab a camera and ye olde something or other -- here's a peek at our Field Guide to the Arizona RenFest: ...

Illustration by Claire Lawton
Click on the image (or right here) for a full-size version.

Check out a slideshow of Renaissance action here and extra hints and tips after the jump ...

The Basics:
Address: 12601 East Highway 60, Apache Junction
Hours: Every Saturday and Sunday (and Presidents Day) 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tickets: $22 for adults and $12 for kids 5 to 12 (under 5-year-olds are always free). Note: You can grab tickets at Fry's locations for $2 off. If you're looking to splurge on a season pass, click here.
Is free.
Pack: A sun umbrella (or at least some sunscreen), a camera, some hand sanitizer, and cash. While weapons are allowed, snacks and drinks will be thrown out at the entrance.

Must Sees:

- The Tortuga Twins (actually three actors) present a quirky, semi-offensive show on the Boat House Stage at 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 3:15 p.m., and 4:45 p.m..

- Harry Potter fans can satisfy wizard cravings at the wand and broomstick shops on the northeast and northwest sides of the festival grounds.

- Costumes can be rented at the entrance (seriously). Note: If you don't want to get picked as a "volunteer" during any of the performances, a former festival employee tells us that your best bet is to wear a costume.

- If you plan on bringing the kids, check out the "Throne Carrousel," the maze, or the kids center full of craft tables and festival games.

- The festival grounds are huge. Luckily there's a man with a cart who will drag run you around for a small fee. Find him.

Must Avoids:

- If you don't feel like spending a fortune (or a decent amount of time in any of the newly renovated bathrooms) for food, you can pack a picnic in your car, as entrance is good for an entire day. But let's be real, this may be the only time or place during the year where eating a turkey leg or a pickle on a stick is socially acceptable.

- Speaking of food, it's best to stick to the traditional -- we're not too sure about the new Asian food or falafel additions.

- Like any good gathering of festival folk, there's an assortment of face painters ... just make sure not to ask to touch their paintbrushes. Trust us.

- The morning rush when the park opens at 10 a.m. and right before lunch time will land you in a line. Best to plan your arrival and exit times -- that is, if you can find the entrance/exit.

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton