Hello my fellow travelers! I am so excited to be starting the best time of year in Florida! People say that there are no seasons on Florida, but I say they are wrong, and right now is the start of the best season of the year – Festival Season! One of the most exciting festivals running right now, in my opinion, is Camelot Days. Lucky for me, Dharma’s Sheridan Ocean Club property is just a few miles away from Topeekeegee Yugnee Park, where the festival is held each year. So sit back and enjoy scenes from the fantastical era of King Arthur.
According to their website, Camelot Days is an event that, “brings the days of yore back to TY Park. You can relive the magic of the past by exploring their kingdom full of musicians, artisans, eateries, knights, and jesters. Cheer for your favorite side at the living chess game! Feast like a King on hearty food and drink. Shop for fine handcrafted treasures in the Artists’ Market. Enjoy challenging games and entertaining shows for all ages!”
The reality of Camelot Days did not disappoint. Upon entering, we were greeted by various medieval and magical characters. One of the characters pulled us aside and invited us on a “quest” to solve a murder. We were to find different characters and eliminate the places characters, and weapons – sort of like a Renaissance version of Clue.
We didn’t get very far on our quest because I was distracted by the smell of food, so we made our way to the food court where I got the required dish for the Middle Ages – a smoked turkey leg.
Food in hand, we headed over to see Aaron Bonk, a “3-time International Performance Champion, 4-time Guinness World Record setting whip artist and unique entertainer with a twisted sense of humor who risks his life to make you laugh.”
He did a fabulous job of juggling axes, knives, whips, all interspersed with jokes and disco dancing. For the culmination, he juggled whips that were lit on fire.
We perused some of the artisan stores that sold Renaissance style boots, belts and purses and stopped to watch the music group 3 Pints Gone sing tavern songs and tell stories. Then we made our way over to the High Flying Fools – who promise to put on the Greatest Aerial Show ever. With their “Circus for Idiots” instruction manual, this hilarious aerial show “combines comedy, feats of strength, the grace and beauty of aerial silks & lyra and even some sideshow into one awesome crowd-pleasing performance!”
After the show, we decided to improve ourselves with knowledge and went to the encampments, where we got to see how people lived in the Middle Ages, including a live demonstration of spinning, which gave me Sleeping Beauty vibes. Afterwards, we were off to the see the battles of the Royal Chessman, Florida’s oldest Stage Combat Troupe. If you thought we would have had our fill of fighting at this point, you would be sadly mistaken. You can’t go to a Renaissance Fair without seeing a joust, and we were treated to a great one, followed by an equestrian demonstration that left us breathless.
In addition to all the great shows, we were treated to interactive improvisational sketches on every path. Check out just a few of the characters we met:
All in all it was well worth the $20 entry fee. Camelot Days runs through November 21, but if you miss it, don’t worry! There are many other festivals heading down our way. Check out our Monthly Guide of Things to do in Miami or stay tuned for next months travel adventure!