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Families step into 16th-century fun at Renaissance Fair

It was a cold and rainy Saturday morning when Lady Bette Bernd waited an hour outside the palace gate for the guards to fire the cannon. She couldn’t think of anywhere else she’d rather be.

“It’s not usually cold,” said Bernd, who’s attended the Colorado Renaissance Festival for the past 15 years. Though the temperatures may have added some authenticity to the moment.

“But what is the weather in England like?” she asked.

The 34th annual family-run fair opened June 12 and runs for eight weekends. Over the course of the summer, about 200,000 people attend, said Jim Paradise, the fair’s marketing director.

The medieval theme park in Larkspur takes visitors on a tour of the 16th century, providing an opportunity for hard-core Reniassance fans and nonhistory buffs alike to experience a day-in-the-life of peasants up to kings and queens.

And it’s all done with pomp and circumstance — and a bit of comedy. The fair features jousting, comedians who have been trained in interactive theater, turkey legs, Guinness and more than 200 artisans hawking their wares.

At the sound of the cannon,