Hear ye, hear ye: The 2018 Colorado Renaissance Festival is approaching.

For the 42nd season, lords, ladies, nobles, village folk and fairies will converge on Larkspur. People from faraway lands and nearby come to plunge themselves into a unique environment.

More than 10 stages that dwell within the 16th-century-themed festival will feature The Kamikaze Fireflies, Jousting, Endangered Cat Show, Washing Well Wenches, Juniper the Fairy, The London Broil and many more acts.

Hundreds of artisans and cast members create a sense of whimsy and authenticity as they perform and embody their characters. Members can become a part of the royal court, villagers, street performers or musicians.

"Between our entertainers and stage acts, we get about 250 cast members," says Jim Paradise, vice president and marketing director. The actors are chosen after a one-minute audition, featuring a comedic monologue and improvisation. The popular character roles fill quickly. These lords, ladies and village folk commit to the poetic immersion of the festival in order to captivate and humor the audience.

The cast members bring their own authentic Renaissance costumes with their own creative twist. They rehearse dozens of times to perfect their acts in time for the grand event.

Guests are also welcome to dress in costume, or rent a costume at the festival. But be prepared to enjoy the enthusiastic realm of the Renaissance.

"This is our 42nd year, but we've expanded with new crafts and vendors," Paradise says. "We've become a pretty substantial summer event."

Booths feature clothing, art, jewelry, leather goods, woodwork and food - including giant turkey legs.

This year's themed weekends are: "A Magical Adventure" this Saturday and Sunday, "Royal Ale & Art Festival" June 23-24, "Celtic Festival" June 30-July 1, "Children's Weekend" July 7-8, "Wine Revelry" July 14-15, "Love and Romance" July 21-22, "Pirate Invasion" July 28-29, and "Fare Thee Well & Mardi Gras Style Carnival" Aug. 4-5.

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Miranda Martinez, The Gazette

miranda.martinez@gazette.com

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