Yes, I visited yet ANOTHER shire in the area and lived to tell about it. The Virginia Renaissance Faire, just opening this year is still far too new for me to accurately critique, but well...here goes. It's rumored that millions of dollars were spent on the building and shoppes and I can understand why: they are the most beautiful I have seen in my travels and very well thought out, however it lacks one very important thing, a pub. There is no real place to sit and enjoy a show whilst sipping a cider or other refreshing drink save the one overlooking the jousting field. Beer gardens are around in a few places and do suffice for the time being. The faire is severely understaffed along the lines of impromptu performers and musicians and those who are there aren't quite into the state of mind they need to be to work the sparce and thin crowd. The attendees seemed a bit in awe of the happenings and lacked enthusiasm, but I think in the following years this will be built up and will bring out the potential I see in the faire. Yes, it IS a faire, not a festival, but for a first year event, it is run very smoothly. The jousting is excellent and the comic relief is an added bonus. One thing I greatly enjoyed and something I haven't seen at a faire is the man-made lake with a beached boat that acts as a stage for various acts. But for several millions it SHOULD be nice. The faire is a nice afternoon get-away, and I honestly think that as time passes, it will become a beautiful faire. Best of luck to the staff and we'll see you next year!
Visit the Virginia Renaissance Faire's WebSite.