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Renaissance Silk Road Weekend Includes Belly Dancing, Fairies and a Longbows Competition

Bows and arrows, belly dancing and magical fairies come together during the Silk Road Weekend on September 1-3 at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.

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There are few places where bows and arrows, belly dancing and magical fairies come together in one place except the Silk Road Weekend on September 1, 2, and 3 at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival!

Belly dancers are taking over the Realm during the Festival’s Belly Dancing Competition. Belly dancing has always been a part of the Festival and this year we want to hear everyone jingle! The competition is held daily at 5 p.m. on the Pavilion Stage. The best dancers will win gift certificates from Dahlal’s Internationale, a company known for their authentic Middle Eastern belly dance costumes and accessories. The competition is free to all patrons and all ages are welcome to participate!

Patrons can practice before the competition during the free Belly Dancing Lessons held at Bad Manor Green at 10:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Learn how to shake it like a gypsy by the members of Khoury’s Arabic Ensemble. The ensemble will also be performing traditional Middle Eastern music at 10:30pm and 2:30pm on the Pavilion Stage. For those that prefer to be a spectator and not a participant, there will be solo performances daily at 12:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m at the Pavilion Stage. The Sisters of Sahara, a belly dancing troupe who entertains the audience with “high-energy and a little sass”, will be performing on the Pavilion Stage with the Debke Group at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily.

If belly dancing isn’t your thing, the Silk Road Weekend is also hosting a Longbow Competition! Longbows date back to England during the 15th century and are still popular today. The competition will take place daily in the Special Events Field at 11:00 a.m. Each archer will be allowed three shots from each distance until disqualified and the top three winners will receive awards.

For those that don’t know anything about the sport of Longbow, the Minnesota Kyudo Renmi will be on site to give a demonstration of full-distance Kyudo shooting and brief history before the competition begins. Patrons can also stop by their booth and see first-hand the traditional arrows made out of bamboo and a short-range target called a Makiwara.

For the first time ever, the Festival has put together a special Fairy Festival held in the Special Events Field! The Fairy Festival will include special vendors selling fairy houses and accessories to help you create a unique and magical fairy garden. Brand new this year is also the Fairy House Competition! More than 80 competitors have entered the competition and all houses will be on display for the chance to win special fairy prizes. Prizes will be awarded to the top three houses in the children and adult category and the grand prize winner will take home a $250 gift card from Linder’s! The top houses will be picked by patrons so stop by and check out these houses made of acorns, stones, branches and other natural elements.

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is a first-class experience whose 42nd season begins on Saturday, August 18 and runs till September 30, 2012.  The Festival is open weekends, Labor Day and a special day for schools and seniors on Festival Friday, Sept. 28th, 2012 open from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., rain or shine.  The Festival is located three miles south of Shakopee on Hwy 169.  Price of admission is $21.95 for adults; $12.95 for children 5 – 12; $19.95 for seniors; four and under is free; dogs $10.00 with registration.  Discount tickets are sold at participating Walgreens, Menards, Whole Foods Market and Super America stores.  Discount coupons are available at participating Subway, Papa Murphy’s and Dunn Brothers locations.  For more information, visit www.renaissancefest.comor call 952-445-7361.

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