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The Des Moines Renaissance Faire returns for its 13th festival this month. It’s the 10th year the event has been held at Sleepy Hollow’s Castle Park.

Here’s a run through of what you can expect from the seven days of events.

The villagers

It’s more than just commoners wandering the grounds of the faire. During your visit you’ll encounter characters like Athren the Red, a mercenary and insult artist, Blue Rose Mermaid, The Jester King, Robin Hood himself, Zachary The Cannoneer and the Pickle Cart Man, aptly described as “the man with the pickle cart.”

The themes

The ren faire runs for three weekends, each with a different theme. Here’s how they break down:

Saturday-Monday: Knights & Royals. Looking to have fun storming the castle? This is when you do it.

Sept. 12-13: Highlanders & Lucky Lasses. No true Scotsman (or Scotswoman) will attend without an appropriate amount of plaid.

Sept. 19-20: Pirates & Wenches. Show off your Captain Jack Sparrow impersonation that no one ever gets tired of.

The food

If you’re looking for authentic medieval cuisine… you have a heartier stomach than most people. Giant turkey legs are probably as close as you’ll get, but there are also corn dogs, kettle corn, vino in the Tuscany Wine Villa and Ye Olde Pizza Pies, available in slice or pocket forms.

The entertainment

There will be plenty to feast your eyes upon during the faire. Crazy Boy Coy will be putting on comedic stunts, juggling and doing some fire-breathing. Faerie Queen Titania will be present to entertain the kids. Joust Evolution will let you watch knights knock each other off horses and Warwick will show off swordplay.

There are also acts that appear just on specific weekends, like Lord Drake’s Mystic Magic (first weekend), the Celtic band 3 Pints Gone (second weekend) and the Dead Pirate Comedy Show (third weekend).

The vendors

If you want to buy an outfit for this year, or make sure you’re all set for next year’s faire, there are options like Dragon’s Horde, Feather in Your Cap, La Gazza Pazza and others. Need some weaponry? Check out Dead on Target, Oakheart Armory or Razor’s Edge Knife Works.

Or you can take a look at booths like Boars Head Leather, Bramble N Bumble Soaps, Fyne Hats by Felicity and other specialty sellers.

Des Moines Renaissance Faire

When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Monday, Sept. 12-13, Sept. 19-20

Where: Sleepy Hollow, 4051 Dean Ave.

Cost: $16 for one day ($8 ages 5-12), $25 for two days, $40 for seven days.

Info: dmrenfaire.com 

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