Winter may be coming, but it was a lovely summer’s day in the shire when Counselor visited the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire in Manheim, PA, to get our hey-nonny-nonny on and check out the branded merchandise on offer.
Truly, we weren’t disappointed – in the faire or the excellent merch.
The beautiful fairgrounds deftly pull off the feel of a fantastical shire village (minus a few modern touches, such as a cash machine we dubbed “Ye Olde ATM”). Costumed actors, always in character, stroll the village and interact with visitors. Merchants selling everything from handmade jewelry and dragon statues, to pocket watches, period dress and medieval-style replica weapons abound. Performances of everything from Celtic music to circus acrobats to comedy players come in abundance, too. And, perhaps best of all, there are jousts on horseback and entertaining live sword battles that play out as part of a theatrical narrative involving the English court of King Henry.
Of course, it wasn’t all fun and games for Counselor while on the scene. OK, OK: Actually, it was. But we did spot lots of awesome merchandise that could help inspire ideas promo distributors can use when pitching similar faires. Indeed, with millions of people attending such faires annually in the U.S., there’s a good chance you’ll find one in your neck of the woods.
Without further ado, check out our slideshow on Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire merch, with some fun color shots from the day thrown in for good measure.
This enthusiastic trio of costumed characters pumped up the crowd before the final joust of the day by using a crossbow to shoot free swag into the stands.
Attendees of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire could purchase these tumblers with straws.
The Royal House of Tudor representing at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.
Dextre Tripp (pictured here… juggling fire…) and his wife Jana Tripp are the fantastic performance duo that make up Circus Stella. They were among the faire performers selling branded merchandise, including the tank top on the next slide.
Tank top for sale at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire from performers Circus Stella.
Keepsake pennants for faire lovers. Put them on your cubicle wall to be looked at when you need to drift away to more fantastical times…
A visitor to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire wears a T-shirt from Swashbuckler Brewing Company. The brewery is located on the faire’s grounds. Swashbuckler’s website says it is the first brewery ever to be situated on the grounds of a Ren Faire.
Branded napkins at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.
A friendly dragon pokes out from the pocket of this T-shirt that bears a crest saying “PRF” – an abbreviation for the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.
An impressive array of branded drinking vessels were on offer. They included these mugs that are ideal for the quaffing of ale and other victuals.
King Henry (right) does battle at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.
A congenial hobbit takes a load off after a busy day working the faire.
A faire T-shirt that gets a bit philosophical.