The Texas Renaissance Festival is the best renaissance festival in the United States. It takes place every weekend from about the first weekend in October to the last weekend in November each year. It's located in Plantersville, Texas.
There’s lots of great food, entertainment, human-powered rides, shops, and people in amazing costumes. There’s a sign warning you at the entrance that you will be photographed and that your photographs may be used in any way without your permission. The truth is that most of the people show up specifically to be photographed! It’s the most camera-friendly environment in which I’ve ever been. The fair is surrounded by excellent campsites and many people stay an entire weekend. There’s too much to see in just one day.
The quality of the costumes and products being sold there has to be seen to be believed. The costumes are not really costumes. They are authentic clothing that people would have worn at the time. You can purchase battle-ready swords, real armor, real leather uniforms, authentic hand-crafted tools…it’s amazing. Many first timers are somewhat apprehensive about being surrounded by adults wearing “costumes”, but they usually leave making plans about how they are going to dress up the next time they go. I’m already making plans.
P.S. I shot all of these with my LC-A+ and cropped them for effect. :-) The LC-A+ was the perfect camera for handling all the different lighting situations and being very fast to use so I didn’t miss anything. I also shoot some pictures with my Diana Mini (in half-frame mode), but most of those were underexposed because of the bad lighting or to “grainy” to be useful. The Diana Mini is great when you can get very close to your subject, but you lose a lot detail in things that are far away and her lens isn’t as fast as the LC-A+.