Scarborough Renaissance Festival returns for its 40th anniversary season this Saturday, kicking off its 40th season and continuing Saturdays and Sundays through Memorial Day Monday, May 31.

“Everyone at Scarborough is so excited that our 2021 opening weekend is here and we can finally celebrate our 40th anniversary,” said Doug Keller, general manager. “There are lots of new additions and upgrades at this year’s festival and our expansive 35-acre outdoor festival site offers plenty of space for people to be social distanced from others and enjoy a fun day of entertainment, shopping and more.

“We invite everyone to come step back in time, for the time of your life,” he said.

Each weekend of the festival is especially themed – and this weekend’s is “Travel Back in Time,” featuring a celebration of Steampunk and all other time travelers. Festival visitors are invited to show off their Steampunk and time traveling costumes throughout the weekend. They can also compete in the Scarborough Mask Contest each day with their most creative or unusual facemask for the chance to win a Scarborough prize pack. Contestants must register for the contest by 1:30 p.m. each day.

“As a reminder, costumes are welcome but definitely not required (to attend the festival),” a spokesman said, noting that opening weekend is also Kid’s Free and Senior Discount Days. Up to three children ages 5-12 are admitted free with each paid adult, with children age 4 and younger always free. Seniors 65 and older also get a special discount this weekend with half-priced tickets at the gate.

“The health and safety of their employees, participants, and visitors is Scarborough Renaissance Festival’s No. 1 priority,” the spokesman said. “[We] have worked closely with local authorities to ensure that all protocols and CDC guidelines will be followed so that [we] can conduct a safe and fun event for everyone.”

Comprehensive guidelines and protocols are in place for visitors and participants alike and include temperature checks, a mask requirement, social distancing, and more. All guidelines and protocols can be found on the festival’s website at www.SRFestival.com.

The 16th century-style festival features a myriad of activities each weekend, including full combat armored jousting, Birds of Prey exhibitions, the Mermaid Lagoon, knighting ceremonies, and more than 25 stages of interactive and unique entertainment. Visitors will also discover one-of-a-kind treasures at the hundreds of Scarborough shoppes and be amazed by authentic artisan demonstrations. There are also Renaissance rides, games of skill, and much more to enjoy.

“Come experience a death-defying sword swallowing and magic show, rocking Scottish bagpipes, musical renditions from Celtic, Medieval and gypsy influences, pirate comedy, and super-human stunts and pun-derful antics with this weekend’s special guest performers,” the spokesman said. “There’s Scotland Rising, The Lynx Show, Gypsy Rox, Here be Pirates and the Accidental Acrobats. Guest Artisans are Two Tarts Toppers and Sea Song Jewelry.”

A full schedule of non-stop entertainment and list of shoppes throughout the festival can be found online at www.SRFestival.com.

Featured this weekend at the Daily Wine Tasting Events will be Spanish wines, with the Daily Beer Tasting Events featuring Texas brews. The tasting events have limited seating and require a separate ticket. Visitors must be age 21 or older to attend.

Upcoming themed weekends are Artisan’s Showcase (April 17-18), Royal Ale Festival Weekend (April 24-25), and Live the Fantasy & Spring Celebration (May 1-2).

Hours of operation are from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. rain or shine; the festival is located on Farm-to-Market 66 off of Interstate 35E.

Regular admission is $37 for adults and $17 for children, ages 5-12. Children age 4 and younger are admitted free. Tickets are available online, with discount tickets available at North Texas Tom Thumb & Albertsons stores. A special discount offer can be found at participating North Texas T-Mobile stores as well.

For more information, visit www.SRFestival.com or social media pages on Facebook and Twitter (SRFestival) or on Instagram (theSRFestival).

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