The Bay Area Renaissance Festival begins Feb. 23 and 24 and continues weekends through April 7.
TAMPA The Bay Area Renaissance Festival begins its 35th season with Wine, Chocolate, and Romance Feb. 23 and 24 and continues weekends through April 7.
Journey back in time as more than 100 merchants contribute to the atmosphere of this charming 16th century village. Experience live armored jousting, 12 stages of entertainment, shopping, fun and food for the whole family.
Theme weekends for the 2013 season are:
Feb. 23-24: Wine, Chocolate & Romance
Chocolate Festival Free Wine Tasting Cupcake Wars Grape Stomp at 12:30 p.m. Fudge Fling at 1 p.m. Sweet Stroll at 1:30 p.m. Wooing Contest at 3 p.m. Couple's Chocolate Pie Eating Contest at 3:30 p.m.
March 2-3: Highland Fling
Highland Games Celtic Village Free Beer Tasting Highland Dancers Jig for Your Supper at 11:30 a.m. Meatball Eating Contest at 1 p.m. Men in Kilts Competition at 3 p.m. Cabbage Toss at 4:30 p.m.
March 9-10: Buccaneer Beer Fest
Pet Fest Pet Vendors Free Beer Tasting Hot Dog Eating Contest Pet Costume Contest Arm Wrestling Championships Trader's Port Swab the Deck at 11 a.m. Perfect Pirate Contest at 12:30 p.m.
March 16-17: Shamrocks & Shenanigans!
Highland Heavy Games Free Beer Tasting Celtic Village Mashed Potato Eating Contest at 1 p.m. Men in Kilts Competition at 3 p.m.
March 23-24: Wonders of the World
State Royal Archery Championships Free Beer Tasting World Market Sing for Your Supper at 11:30 a.m. Grape Stomp at 1 p.m. Egg Roll Eating Contest at 2 p.m. Florida State Belly Dance Championships at 3 p.m. Steampunk Costume Contest
March 30-31: Fiesta Festival
Fencing Championships Flamenco Dancers Mariachi Bands Latino Market Latin Easter Service Taco Eating Contest
April 6-7: High Seas Adventure
BBQ Championships Free Wine Tasting Tattoo Expo Tattoo Contest at 3 p.m. Trader's Port Swab the Deck at 11 a.m. Press-A-Wench at 12:30 p.m. Perfect Pirate Contest at 1 p.m. Pickle Pie Eating Contest at 2:30 p.m.
Live Armored Jousting
Live Human Combat Chess
Free Crafts in the Childrens Realm daily
The Bay Area Renaissance Festival is located at MOSI in Tampa. Gates are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Parking is free.
Cost is $18.95 for adults; $10.95 for children, ages 5 to 12; $14.95 for seniors, age 65 and up. Discount tickets available at participating Walgreens, Circle K stores and online at www.BayAreaRenaissanceFest.com.