AT THE ENTRANCE to the Maryland Renaissance Festival, the sign above the gaping arches reads: "Prepare thyself for merriment." Would-be sorcerers and wizards adorned in capes, gowns and hats lose their urban identities for a day as they arrive to admire minstrels, dance in the square or try their hand at ax throwing.
And this weekend, as on all others, after a day spent mingling with actors dressed as knights, ladies, lords and beggars, visitors also will pass sign that says "Until another day, fare thee well." Until next year . . . Tomorrow and Sunday are the final days of the eight-week medieval festival, set in Crownsville off I-97.
The festival features three taverns, nine stages and more than 260 performers on a 330-acre farm in Anne Arundel County.
The Maryland Renaissance Festival is open from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday. For more information, call (800) 243-7304. Admission: $10.95 adults; $8.80 seniors and youths ages 12-15; $3.95 children ages 5-11; free for under age 5. From the Baltimore Beltway, take Interstate 97 south to Exit 5. Off the exit, go straight to the third light, which is Crownsville Road. Turn right and follow signs to the festival.