Bay Area Renaissance Festival kicks off

The Bay Area Renaissance Festival is celebrating 39 years, from small beginnings in the city of Largo, to one of Tampa's biggest regional attractions.

The Bay Area Renaissance Festival started February 18 ends on April 2, 2017. The Festival is open weekends and Friday March 31, 2017 from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., rain or shine. 

More than 80,000 people attend the festival every year. Admission at the gate is $20.95 for adults and $12.95f or kids 5-12. Four and under are free. Discount tickets are available at participating Circle K and Walgreens stores, at MOSI, or online at www.BayAreaRenFest.com.

Below is a list of the fun you'll find at this year's Bay Area Renaissance Festival:

Merlin's Magic Quest: Discover the festival through new eyes as you join in our interactive, all-day Adventure Quest. You will follow clues, solve puzzles and engage in battles of wits. Experience comedy, danger, and the mystical while meeting people to enhance your festival experience. Join the Quest to bring magic back to Fittleworth with the help of nobles and scoundrels alike.

Dancing with the Royals: Learn a Renaissance period dance with members of the Royal Court, then perform in front of their Majesties for a chance to win prizes.

Time Traveler's Ball: On March 11th the Patrons are invited to participate in an ALL NEW Time Traveler's Ball. This event will feature a DJ, Food, Drinks and Specialty Entertainment.

Free Beer Festival Friday: With your ticket, you receive one free beer with your purchase on the only Friday we are open! We will also be offering free tickets to anyone with a Military ID and First Responders.

Highland Fling: February 20th & 21st: Florida State Highland Heavy Game Championship, Scottish Dancers, Craft Beer Tastings, Celtic Village, and a Men in Kilts Competition.

Chocolate Fantasy: February 25th & 26th: Chocolate Festival, Free Vow Renewals, Fencing Competition, and Whirlwind Wedding Wars.

Pirates and Pets: March 4th & 5th: Pet Fest with Vendors and Entertainment, Weiner Dog Races, Perfect Pirate Competition, and Biker Weekend Discounts

Time Travelers: March 11th & 12th: Steampunk Invasion and Costume Contest, Belly Dancing Championships, World Market, Dr. Who Costume Contest and ALL NEW Time Traveler's Ball.

Shamrocks & Shenanigans: March 18th & 19th: Largest St. Paddy's Day Party in Tampa, Green Beer, Highland Heavy Games, Celtic Village, with Men in Kilts Competition and ALL NEW Bonnie Knees Competition

Barbarian Brew Fest: March 25th & 26th: Craft Beer Tasting, Best Beard Competition, The State Royal Archery Championships and Deaf Awareness Weekend

Free Beer Festival Friday: March 31st: Every ticket gets a Free beer! Military and First Responder Appreciation, Ladies' Shopping Day, School Day, and the Masquerade Ball that night!

High Seas Adventure: April 1st & 2nd: Tattoo Competition, Swab the Deck, Pirate Peg Leg Relay Racing, Perfect Pirate Competition

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