It seems like the year has flown by since we were at the TexRenfest last year. I, for one, am glad about that because I love the Texas Renaissance Festival.
The 2023 season got off to a good start with great weather for Opening Weekend. I was excited to see all of my friends from last season and also to make new ones.
On this Saturday, October 7th, I was up at 4am to get ready for the festival. I was dressed, geared up and left my place at 6:30am. I arrived at TRF by 7:20am and was parked on row 10. I was the first one to park on this side, but I wasn’t the first to arrive.
It is a short walk to the gates of the Kingdom. The staff that keeps the walkway clean always do a great job. I never see anything out of place and never any litter.
On your way into or out of the Kingdom, you can stop by this building to enter a fun contest to win a trip.
I always enjoy coming into the entrance plaza because I know fun and excitement are nearby.
I usually get up on the large King’s throne to take a few area shots. It’s a great vantage point to see everything.
A statue of George Coulam, the TRF Founder. He is a true visionary.
Good info to know about King George and the festival.
This throne is such a good photo op. I try to get a pic on it each day that I’m at the festival.
I went by the Media office and picked up my Media badge and ticket. They are always so nice to allow me to work their event. I enjoy working at the TexRenFest and would never take that for granted.
Rudy plays the character of Hamish MacGregor. He entertains the patrons as they wait for the gates to open in the morning. Rudy also plays his bagpipes as the lead of the daily noon parade. He does a fantastic job.
Jeff Baldwin is the General manager of the Texas Renaissance Festival and does a great job. Everybody loves him.
Here he is igniting the morning cannon to let the patrons know that the festival is open for the day.
This is a short video of the morning cannon going off as Alan holds it. It gives quite a kick.
The lovely Queen. This Opening Weekend was a celebration of the Queen’s Birthday. She is beloved by all in the Kingdom.
Phil has been a part of the TexRenFest for many years. I love getting a pic with him. He is a mountain of a man but a gentle giant with a great heart and personality. I love Phil ‘Tan Man’ Brayton.
I have photographed this lovely lady for several seasons. Nice pumpkins.
Quite a regal group.
Alan worked as the doorman at the Wyrmwood last season. This season he is in a management position. I’m happy for him. He’s a great guy. So nice.
I stop by Ravenswood Leather every morning to get pics. This is Rebel showcasing some of their merchandise.
I always try to get a pic with MJ.
These two young ladies were happy to pose for me. I love to see smiling faces.
The Thirsty Pirate Pub is always on my morning route.
Michelle, Michael and Rosie work at the Thirsty Pirate Pub. They are all very nice.
Kristen, Shelley and Margot work there also. So sweet, all of them.
The Thirsty Pirate Pub has great decorations. This is in their upstairs section.
During the day, this area is full of pirates and partiers.
This is the view from upstairs at the Thirsty Pirate Pub. This stage has 2 shows that play all throughout the day. The shows are the Tease of the Seas and the Spice Boys. Both are good shows to see.
The joust arena gets packed several times a day to see the action.
Jazi Love works at the Polish Pub. The staff at this pub is very nice also.
Cheyenne works there also. Very hard-working.
This is Jenna. The food stand that she works at has the best cheeseburger.
Jessica and Stephanie are always ready for a pic and I like that. They are good friends.
I never forget to stop by Julie’s stand. I tried several of the food items offered at her stand last season and loved it all.
This is Elizabeth, Amber and Hannah. Fun-loving girls.
Kylee and her little co-worker have such great smiles.
Kenley, Angela, Vendella, Reagan, Gussie and Marlee. Another favorite food stand of mine. They have fried alligator, yum.
The Steak on a Stick staff are another fun group. They always dress so nicely.
I remember Harley Jane and Amber from last season. I’ll know the names of the others soon.
TRF has many things for the children to do.
Tee and Hayley work at the Red Lion Tavern. They are on my regular route each morning.
Hayley is always nice enough to pose with me.
Photobombers are funny.
I happen to catch the King taking a stroll through the Kingdom.
These young ladies told me that they didn’t need my business card because they already follow me on social media. Cute ladies.
Greg works at Catskill Mountain Moccasins. I stop by his booth to take a rest.
These guys work at the Asgardian Armory. Fun guys.
A great family pic.
This couple was interesting.
He had this on his back.
Lots of time and effort to make this. He should be applauded.
This woman looked great.
Such a great outfit and face.
Only at TRF.
This guy sells pickles. He yells out, “Three bills for a dill!” I love that line.
Dex cooks up some good chicken.
Pam always strikes such good poses. She’s a good friend. I always enjoy hanging out with her.
You will always see great pirates at the Sea Devil.
Kevin has such great pirate garb.
The Sea Devil staff is great and always having fun.
It looks like he’s saying, “You better have my money.”
A face only a mother could love, lol.
Young ladies love getting a flower wreath for their hair.
Julie was serving up some fried shrimp so I snapped a quick pic. Their shrimp are delicious.
You get 4 large shrimp with potato wedges.
And yes, she deserves a close-up.
Everyone at the TexRenFest always have a great time.
Scott and Amanda hang out at the Glory Hole and solve the world’s problems. Oh, to be a fly on the wall.
This young lady was enjoying a drink while having a seat.
Another children’s attraction.
Letting the horse eat while on a break.
I stopped back by the Thirsty Pirate Pub.
Always people here.
Here are some patrons watching the Spice Boys act.
Elizabeth works upstairs at the pirate pub.
And always up for a pic.
Such a fun photo.
As the day goes on, this area gets packed with people.
The Thirsty Pirate Pub is a favorite hangout of mine.
I ran into Pam and her friend. They were having a good time.
When I told this couple that they could download this pic for free from my site, she went for her money and told her boyfriend that they should tip me. I told her that wasn’t necessary because I do this for fun.
Hyle and Erika work at the Asgardian Armory. A very nice couple. So friendly.
Erika is another lady that I usually get a pic with.
Alex is at the Asgardian Armory as well.
I enjoy photos with him also.
Mickey works at the Wyrmwood Public House as a bartender. Here, he is serving me my daily kamikaze. He’s a good friend.
These ladies were happy to pose for a photo.
The shows at TRF are always great entertainment and the artists are all so talented.
A day at the TexRenFest is filled with fun, food, festivities and you leave feeling fulfilled.
Here are the knights of the joust heading to get ready for the daily parade.
That’s a cool job.
The weather was great all day long.
I’d say that Opening Day was a good success for the TexRenFest.
As I was leaving for the day, I saw this guy and definitely wanted his photo.
Then, I saw a friend, Tony.
They were there together so I snapped a pic of them.
This fine lady will stamp your hand if you plan to return that day.
The King’s Throne stays busy all day long.
This photo was taken about 1pm and you can see that the crowd is still flowing into the festival.
It is always good that the first and last face you see is a smiling one.
This concludes the photos from Saturday. The Sunday pics are next.
On Sunday, October 8th, I arrived early again.
Not many have seen an empty parking row because they usually arrive later in the day.
A clean walkway again. Kudos to the grounds crew.
As I was nearing the entrance plaza, I could see Willie already at work, entertaining the first guests of the day.
I took a photo of them with a good background.
Then, I shot them closer so they’d have two photos to choose from.
Ace and Willie are two great guys. They love their jobs and it shows.
Ace took my pic again on the throne.
It was looking like it was going to be great weather for the day.
The Beefeaters are the first and last people that you see at TRF. They are a great crew.
I picked up my ticket and new Media badge from the Media office. I love working at the TexRenFest and I’m pleased that they allow me to do just that… entertain people with my photography and videography of the best Renfest in the U.S.
On this day, I invited John Pfister from Action 5 News to come hang out with me. He took all of the pics that I’m in on Sunday. We had a good time and enjoyed ourselves.
This is Alan, Elizabeth and Kenny. Alan loads and holds the cannon. Elizabeth was the one to ignite it on this day. And Kenny is Alan’s assistant.
Here is a still frame from the video.
And here’s the video of the morning cannon going off to inform the patrons that the festival was open for the day.
The lovely Queen of the Kingdom.
June looked good in her glasses.
She and Shane, on the right, are good people.
Many patrons will get breakfast from the Queen’s Pantry before starting a busy day of seeing shows and having fun.
Cast members at TRF are all so nice and never refuse me a photo of them.
Here, a musical group are playing to entertain the King and Queen.
Having an oil portrait would be very cool indeed.
This is Eve Myles and she is the artist. And so sweet.
I stopped by Ravenswood Leather again to get some pics. Here’s MJ at her usual spot.
She sold me two leather pouches last season and I use them all of the time.
She looks like a Queen with her headdress on.
I met Rebel at a comicon and we’ve been friends ever since.
This crew was more than happy to pose for me. The young lady on the left said that she still had my card from last season.
The food at the Texas Renaissance Festival is so very good.
If I’m not careful, I may gain some weight from eating too much, but it is all so delicious,.
And the desserts are fantastic.
Here, the King and Queen are doing an interview. They are both so very good at promoting the TexRenfest. They are really great in their roles.
Such a good family pic. The mom told the baby to look into the camera and he did. Super pic.
I had to convince the lady on the left to get into the picture. I’m glad she did and I bet she is too. It’s a good memory of their day at TRF.
I made my usual pass by the Thirsty Pirate Pub to get pics of the staff.
Pictured from left to right: Rosie, Margot, Michelle, Kristen, Michael, Shelley, Katy and Marlen.
Elizabeth never takes a bad photo.
I go upstairs at the pirate pub every time to see Elizabeth.
Easy to see why, lol.
The Polish Pub is another favorite stop of mine. Pictured from left to right: Edyta, Cheyenne, Jacob, Kasia, Eva and Danuta.
This group of people are very tight-knit and work so well together.
Kasia is a great manager and such a hard worker. Her co-workers love her.
Elizabeth is another very photogenic person.
Her and Amber take a nice photo.
Kylee, on the left, is the daughter of Julie, on the right. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, they say.
Kenlee, Vendella, Reagan and Marlee.
Fifi and Jeanette.
Kelsey and Tonya.
In this pic, they are holding the loaded potato wedges and the beignets. Both so very good.
You can’t go wrong with either one.
My goal next weekend is to learn all of these ladies’ names besides Harley Jane and Amber.
Love the hats.
The drinkware offered at the TexRenfest is great. I have several pieces and use them often.
The crew at the Red Lion Tavern are great. Always smiling.
Hayley always dresses so well.
I plan to have the BBQ from this tavern later in the season. So good.
The bartenders at the Wyrmwood Public House are some of the very best. Friendly, professional and fun.
I love that Greg and Pat always dress with the RenFest theme.
They do a great job of representing Catskill Mountain Moccasins.
Erika has some great clothing and always looks so awesome.
Here, an artisan applies his craft at the Asgardian Armory.
Such a happy fellow.
We look good in matching black outfits.
I asked Erika to pose with their merchandise.
She looks good with all of their leather goods.
The Asgardian Armory sells knives, swords and axes. When Erika sits out front, she will yell. “Come to Bloodbath and Beyond.” It’s like Bed, Bath and Beyond but really funny and fitting for the Armory.
The guys at the Asgardian Armory are always good for a funny pic.
Alex looks very mischievous in this photo.
He is a good photographer and does great leather work.
These young ladies were having a good time.
I love good face makeup.
I walked up and said, “Three bills for a dill.” He thought that I wanted a pickle. I had to tell him that I was just saying his catchphrase. I told him that I would have a pickle soon.
I have photographed this guy before in previous seasons. I don’t have the body for an outfit like this.
The employees at TRF are some of the finest anywhere. Always smiling and ready for a photo.
Another good face.
This couple is always polite enough to stop for a photo. And they always look great.
When wandering through the Kingdom, look for this sign and the Wyrmwood door is nearby.
Here is a short video that gives you a tour of the Wyrmwood, ending with Mickey serving me my daily kamikaze. It’s worth a watch.
This is Shiny. Last year, he would hold 2 coconuts up like they were his breasts. This year, he has become edumacated because now he’s doing Hamlet from Shakespeare. This is Hamlet holding the skull of Yorick, the King’s jester. Hamlet says, “Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio.”
Each area of the Kingdom has a sign like this that shows all of the food offerings in that area. These signs are very helpful.
I’m getting hungry just reading this sign.
Fifi works in booth 408. They offer some great food. On this day, she let me try their popcorn chicken. Myself and John Pfister from Action 5 News enjoyed eating them. So delicious. Remember, booth 408. Ask Fifi and she can help you with anything.
My stomach says yes, my arteries say no. My stomach always wins.
One of the best dressed pirates in all of the TexRenFest.
A girl and her bone.
And she deserves a close-up.
Kay is a favorite of mine to photograph and talk to because she’s nice and also very funny.
The whole crew at the Sea Devil are fun-loving and it shows.
Scott plays Santa during the holidays. Not hard to picture. He said it’s the greatest gig ever.
The daily parade starts at noon and goes through the Kingdom.
The knights come riding by.
I wonder how that job looks on a resume. “So what was your last job?” “I was a knight that fought in jousts.” “Maybe I can find you something in sales.”
The parade is one of many highlights during a day at TRF.
And everyone in it is having a great time.
MJ from Ravenswood Leather was in the parade. I think I’d prefer riding over walking in it. I think most would.
Smiles are contagious.
The parade has a lot of people in it, showcasing many aspects of the TexRenFest.
This photo is important. When I saw her coming, I got her attention so I could snap this pic.
When I returned to my office, I duplicated it then cropped in to get a closer look at that dessert. Two different people told me about it. It’s new at TRF this season and it’s called a Chimney Cake. It is made of a pastry that is shaped like a chimney and then filled with different things. The one she is holding looks to be filled with strawberries then topped with chocolate.
Alex works at the Steak on a Stick stand also.
Alex and Kelsey.
This is Gandalf the wizard from Lord of the Rings. He told me that he followed me on the Book of Face. Then, he showed me a ring on his finger that was Gandalf’s ring. He took it off and placed it in my hand and closed my fingers around it.
He then reached into his bag and when he pulled his hand out, he was again wearing his ring. I opened my hand and there in it was the ring to rule all other rings, complete with the inscription inside.
He then told me that I could have it. I immediately put it on my finger and he said, “Oh no, you must never wear it for then evil will know your location.” I put it on my Media badge where it will remain. Cool dude.
He wanted a selfie and I was glad to oblige.
I’ll think of this gold ring as a sign of good luck and good friends.
A different pickle vendor, same deal. Three bills for a dill.
The weather was great on Sunday and there was a good crowd enjoying the day in the Kingdom.
They were eating, drinking, walking, talking, seeing shows and having a great time.
Shaka, the King of Zulu Kingdom.
Facepainting is a popular thing for the kids to get. Here are some options.
Lady Iris has worked at the TexRenFest for many years. This is her 30th.
She is very proud of this, as she should be.
The Beefeaters have cool outfits and hats.
The throne was busy all day long.
And as I was leaving about 1pm, the crowd was still coming in by the hundreds. Many thousands visited TRF on Opening Weekend.
A program is a necessity when visiting the TexRenFest. It has so much valuable information to help you enjoy your day in the Kingdom of New Market Village.
A lot more cars as I was leaving for the day.
That concludes this blog post about Opening Weekend at the Texas Renaissance Festival. To see all of the photos, go to the link below and click on Photos.