Monday, February 2, 2015
Wayback Machine at Quiet Waters Park Feb. 7- March 15
Florida Renaissance Festival in Deerfield Beach
By Skip Sheffield
The 23rd annual Florida Renaissance Festival opens Saturday, Feb. 7 and continues for six weekends through March 15 at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach.
“Actually it is our 24th annual Festival if you count the first two-day Medieval Festival in 1992,” reveals Festival founder and executive producer Bobby Rodriguez. “The Renaissance Festival has developed a life of its own, growing a little larger every year. January and February are down months for outdoor festivals. Ours is the first of the season. We draw performers and vendors from 20 to 30 states. Next year we will probably go to seven weekends.”
The Renaissance Festival was dealt a blow in 2005 when Hurricane Wilma blew through and pretty much wiped out the trees and vegetation of Quiet Waters Park. Broward County has planted 1,000 saplings, but Rodriguez admits it will be years before the park is as lush as it once was.
The main attraction of the Festival is "Living, breathing theater," as Rodriguez calls the costumed, improvisational performers. Most of them are professionals who live a Gypsy life, following festivals all across America and Canada.
Florida Renaissance Festival has achieved such a good reputation acts come to Rodriguez, not the other way around. Two new acts are "Cast in Bronze" an "Cirque du Sewer." The first is a carillon of 35 bronze bells weighing four tons. Cirque du Sewer is claimed to be "the only girl and rat circus" in the world. The rats perform feats of balance, jump through flaming hoops, race obstacle courses and join trainer Melissa on a slack rope to perform a "death-defying finale."
Then there are favorites such as horseback jousting, cracking bullwhips, juggling bowling balls, Magic acts, fencing, a fire-eating "Broon;" a four-piece themed drama using heavy percussion and Medieval bagpipes; the Splatter Time Players having fun in the mud and Flight of the Raptor featuring trained predator birds such as falcons and hawks.
Each weekend has a separate theme which are detailed on the web site at www.ren-fest.com. Tickets are $21 for adults and $9 for children. Call 954-776-1642.