Alex Garcia had a wonderful time at a recent Florida Renaissance Festival. He and a group of his friends were dressed as members of a Celtic tribe.

“I had a great time today. I was with my friends. There were a lot of good shows at this Festival,” said Garcia.

The Festival on March 18 and 19 was themed “Kilts and Colleens” and was considered a Celtic weekend. Many of the performances had an Irish, English or Scottish theme. Many of the people who came as visitors wore green and a large number were dressed as Renaissance characters.

Jasmine Kowaleski came with some of her friends. They were dressed as various charactors. “We had a lot of fun and we love to come her,” she said.

Jim Klieforth and his wife Diane Klieforth came dressed in period costumes. “We love to be here be a part of this event,” said Diane. “This is a lot of fun,” said Jim.

There really was something for everyone at the Festival. The bands created a real party atmosphere and there were humorous shows. Various clothing items were for sale and one could buy a Renaissance custom. You could also get a history lesson by visiting some of the encampments.

The Cu Dubh music group gave a rousing performance using bagpipes and drums. They were very enthusiastic and got the audience excited. After the main show, a drummer allowed members the audience to beat on his drum and one woman used a turkey leg to do so.

Mike McNutt, a member of Cu Dubh said, “We had a great time today. We love to be here,” he said.

There were many other performances as well. There were encampments showing the real world of the medieval and Renaissance eras. There was a new encampment known as the Ottoman Embassy. Sherry Strickland gave presentations on the Ottoman Empire which encompassed most of the present day middle east for more than 600 years. This empire tolerated all religions and developed created a strong economy. The Ottoman Embassy featured a beautiful tent with people dressed the attire of the Ottoman period. There was also a Viking encampment where people could learn all about the Viking world. The Paladin Society gave a presentation on life in Renaissance Europe. There was an encampment which offered a display and demonstration of early guns and canons. There was a jousting show that included a complex narrative and chariots.

There was plenty of food and drink available. Turkey legs were very popular. The Festival offers a perfect opportunity to escape the real world. You can become, a king, a queen, a peasant, a prince, a bishop, a knight or a pirate.

“This is our 25th anniversary and we have been building it every year,” said Richard Weber, the entertainment director. “We have brought in a high wire act, new musical shows and a new jousting show. We wanted to set a higher bar for this year’s Festival.”