You’ve Got Chainmail

Life in the 15th century was fairly disgusting with those excrement-splattered streets, plagues galore, and life expectancy of about 40 years. The idea behind the Arizona Renaissance Festival & Artisan Marketplace? Clean things up and make it hip — as hip as something like a Ren fest can be, at any rate. So grab your sackbut, don your wimple, and revel in the ministrations of costumed wenches eager to bring you endless flagons of ale and victuals fit for a tyrant. Just be wary of the Arizona Highway Patrol folks who lurk just outside the Maricopa County line.

As always, the fest will feature numerous outdoor stages featuring jugglers, skits, and music, plus handcrafted items for sale at more than 200 shops. There’s also a jousting arena, a singular dude named Shamus the Insulter, and Guinness Book of World Records holder Adam Crack the Whip Master, whose antics nicely dovetail the whole creative-anachronism bag with its odd bedfellow, BDSM (Wikipedia it if you don’t know).

Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Starts: Feb. 9. Continues through March 30, 2008