It’s time once again to turn back the clock to the 16

th

century. That’s right; this autumn we welcome the annual Renaissance Fair at

.

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I never miss a Renaissance Fair. The archery competitions, medieval fighting, court jesters and corsets really set the season. There are harp ensembles, Celtic singers, traditional wares, artwork and costumed Golondrinas staff. The smell of the carpenter and smithy fill the air. And, of course, there's the turkey legs and mead. But sadly, no jousting.

The big-ticket events are held on the Performance Field throughout the festival. The annual Celtic games bring together Santa Fe's biggest and strongest for a series of feats-of-strength competitions, including the caber toss, hammer throw and weight-for-height tossing event. Also not to miss: armored and rapier battles featuring the area's most skilled swordsmen.

This year features performances by the local, internationally recognized performance troupe Clan Tynker, whose lively family show incorporates magic, dancing, comedy and dangerous stunts such as sword-swallowing and tight-wire walking.

While you're enjoying a cool frosty beverage at The Tavern, don't miss the performances of comedy group Theix, Phtat and the Other, and be sure to stick around for Snake the Fire Dancer.

Visitors are encouraged to come in costume, but make sure to mind two crucial rules: peace-tied blades only, and no engaging in combat (sorry!). Visit the Santa Fe Renaissance Fair's website (sfrenfair.org) for some pro-tips on making your own sword, armor and castle for some backyard fun, as well as a full listing of the weekend's events.

Santa Fe Renaissance Fair

10 am-6 pm

Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 18 and 19

$3-$8. Children under 5 free

El Rancho de las Golondrinas

334 Los Piños Rd.

471-2261