Ohio Renaissance Festival 2012

As people flocked to this year’s Ohio Renaissance Festival in Haverysburg by the hundreds of thousands, many of them came fround all over the country. It’s such a big event around south Dayton, and you’d think it would take quite a large organization to make it a success. But you’d be wrong, actually, the fest food is as local as can be.

As another year of the Ohio Renaissance Festival wraps up, I had to take my annual trip now or never.

Now, every local will tell you the same thing: when you go to the Renaissance Festival, there’s plenty of fair food on hand, but what people really go for is the Turkey Legs; they’re the huge sticks everyone’s walking around with. Smoked and served hot, these babies are what you look forward to scarfing down every year. There’s really no delicate way to attack them. You just sort of have to go for it, you know. Well as it turns out the local Bowman Landes farms are responsible for these juicy delicious meals; they smoke upwards of 35,000 turkey legs a year. I absolutely love the turkey legs. They’re worth the price, even at $7 a leg. It’s a once a year thing!

The drink you can’t get out of here without trying is the mead, without a doubt. It’s local to Valley Vineyards, a nearby winery. Now, mead is actually a sort of wine made with fermented honey. The kind of mead you’ll try in England has a different taste, somewhat more floral and decidedly less honey-like in flavor. This stuff is not. It’s got a very light, very honey taste. It can be ordered straight or mixed with a hard cider, and I recommend the latter. The stuff is very sweet, and you’ll want something to reduce that a little bit while maintaining that delicious honey taste.

There’s a ton of other stuff to try; plenty of local foods, sausage and drinks to be tried. Then there’s a hundred vendors bringing handmade crafts, games, and lots of shows to watch. Really, if you’ve never been, it’s worth the price, and you can’t miss it. If for nothing else than the simple pleasure of a giant turkey leg in your hand as you watch full-armor jousting, the Renaissance Festival is, as always an amazing success.


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