Hear ye, Hear ye! The fifth annual two-day Texarkana Renaissance Faire kicked off Saturday with live music and attractions including Queen Claude's court, children's knighting ceremonies, merchants with quality homemade wares and more.
From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, just past the entrance at the ticket booths, folks found their way through the village, where signs pointed patrons in all the right directions—River Lane on the left and Cedar Lane to the right.
Black Heart Point is a huge pirate hangout, so look for Mikee "Crooked Beard" with the Savage Pirate Crew. Two Snakes Apothecary nearby sells homemade candles, incense, oils and other potent potions, and Ye Artisans Lair's ladies will wow you with lovely leather accent pieces.
Sweet-tempered horses with shiny coats might allow a child to sit for a short, guided ride, and the armory in the forest is truly out of this world—as is Clint, whom one might find strutting through the wooded area in full armored garb, complete with a well-crafted, horned helmet that covers his face.
A left onto River Lane takes festival-goers past the Royal Court and toward the Tavern, where adult spirits can be purchased, across from the Fairy Garden. Other merchants on River Lane are Black Bead, Leather Fan Shop, Magick Light, Dust Worthy Designs, Greater Elegance, Hendersons Hearth, Romany Djilia, Iris Adornments and Apothecary, Stray Katz Corsets, Dusty Tear Creations Apocalypse Caravan, Kith and Kin Bakery, The Queen's Apples, Moms Goodies, Enchanted Bubbles, and, of course, Lusty Lemon Ice.
On Cedar Lane, look for Vine and Branch Forgeworks; District Creations; Whimsical Tree; Mermaid Pod; Hammered Creations; Sylva Pagana; Estrella Fugaz Designs; Hoed House (foods); Renaissance (hair) braids; Earth, Wheel and Fire; Ye Olde Soap Box; and The Castle Cooper.
Brian Harper, aka Capt. Asher of Pirates of Texarrrrrrkana, said that he has been pleased with the turnout this year. The captain carries a heavy blunderbuss and is the pirate in charge.
"We are having a great time," said Harper, who was also the pirate in charge of the faire this year—along with his pirate gunner, Shurfyre (AKA Aly Wint).
Harpe said he and Wint worked for several months putting together the fair, with lots of planning and promoting by attending other Renaissanse fairs.
"All of us out here are 100 percent family," Wint said. "This has been a very exciting, fun event and we look forward to doing this all again (Sunday)."
The stunning Amaretta Barbossa, Pirates of Texarrrrrrkana crew member and Capt. Asher's first mate, was present in full pirate garb and said she was having a wonderful time.
Jack the Rum Runner with funny, friendly pirate music group The Bilge Pumps out of Dallas-Fort Worth will likely be running around with his guitar and playing tunes, but he also teaches Jack Sparrow's School For Young Pirates at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
The Bilge Pumps—which also includes pirates Maroon, Harvey, John Crow, Sharkbalt Simon and Splice—love to combine sea songs, shanties, Celtic music and comedy and will perform again today at 11 a.m. Other great acts, including Red the Clown and the Green Man Clan will also perform today.
Today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. is the last chance to attend the fair at Four States Fairgrounds, 3700 E. 50th St. Enter through the ticket booth area for $10 per adult and $5 per child ages 5-12 and free for children 4 and younger, according to faire officials.
For more information, visit texarkanarenfaire.blogspot.com.