When fashion magazines give their annual opinions on the trends of 2010, it's doubtful that chainmail, fairy wings or corseted cleavage will be make the list. (Well, maybe the cleavage ...)
But the Texas Renaissance Festival has never been more popular. Its annual eight-week fall run set records for attendance, welcoming 450,000 fairgoers to the 50-acre grounds, a 10-percent increase over 2009's total. Ren Fest also set single day record for both Saturdays (36,848) and Sundays (28,135), as well as an increase in school days' attendance, group events and weddings.
It seems to be part of a larger trend where families are spending time and money on local entertainment — replacing larger trips, perhaps, since the economy remains unsteady and unemployment has not receded. Or maybe it's part of a return to focusing on regional and local entertainment ushered in by the high-gas-cost "staycation" days of 2008.
The Texas Renaissance Festival, located 50 miles northwest of Houston near Plantersville, joins other family-friendly events including the Houston Rodeo and the State Fair of Texas in setting attendance records in 2010.
Missed your chance for turkey legs, glass blowing and more? The Texas Renaissance Festival returns in 2011 on weekends from Oct. 8 to Nov. 27.