MANHEIM, Pa. (WHTM) — The beloved Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire opens for the 2021 season on Saturday, Aug. 21. This year’s fair will look much more normal than last year.

“It’s just a really exciting year overall just to be able to kind of return to some kind of normality,” Candace Smith, director of sales and communications for the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire and Mount Hope Estate and Winery, said.

The fair features dozens of performers who interact with visitors. Last year, that interaction had to take place with face masks and social distancing. One performer described the feeling to Smith as “walking around with a wall around them.”

This year the festival is back to business-as-usual, with the exception that tickets must be purchased online in advance. There are no mask or vaccination requirements for those attending the fair.

The scenario for this year’s Renaissance Faire is that Queen Elizabeth is coming to the shire of Mount Hope, but not everyone is excited for her to be there, and others are hoping to get something from her when she visits.

Those who attend the Queen’s Court, the Tournament of Arms, the Ultimate Joust, and the Finale Pub Sing will see the whole story play out throughout the day.

In addition to those performances, the fair also features several other shows, plenty of food, numerous vendors for shopping, a pub crawl, and workshops and demonstrations.

Smith especially likes the live mermaids — who will be there for the entire season this year — the royal falconer, and the joust.

But Smith’s favorite part of the Renaissance Faire is that each visit is unique. “It’s ever-changing, even from day to day. If you would come on a Saturday and come back on a Sunday, you could have a completely different experience,” Smith said.

Tickets can be purchased online here, where individuals can also find the event schedules (the “daily writs”) and more details about the 2021 Renaissance Faire. All tickets will be date-specific, and they must be purchased online — tickets will not be sold at the gate.

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Smith noted that the fair is busiest in October, so those looking for a less crowded experience should come in August or early September.