When October rolls around, family-operated Huffman Farms gets very busy. It's not just the autumn harvest that brings people to the 36-acre farm, but also the activities that revolve around the pumpkin patch. Families can pick future jack-o-lanterns from 25 varieties of pumpkins, squash, and gourds. While enjoying the autumn sunshine, they can also get lost in a corn maze, toss a pumpkin, or adventure through the Kid?s Zone. When hunger strikes, families can indulge in food from the Farm Kitchen Caf?, including sweet fall treats from the Farm Girls Bake Shop such as pumpkin cupcakes.
Celebrated country artist Toby Keith circles the wagons, accompanied by a posse of melodic outlaws and dazzling pyrotechnics during Toby Keith’s Locked & Loaded Tour Presented by Ford F-Series. Toby’s three-fisted lyricism, irresistible hooks, and physics-defying aerodynamics have made him a human cannonball in the canon of country music, and the tour celebrates his new album, Bullets in the Gun, with ballistic flamboyance. Audiences will goggle as 1,000 square feet of video screens, a giant T-shaped ramp party pit, and a dazzling display of explosives form a proscenium framing Toby’s arsenal of straight-shooting hits. Riding sidesaddle on the tour, rowdy troubadour Eric Church deputizes audiences with hits from his No. 1 album Chief, and songsmith JT Hodges belts out ditties about sustaining romance when forced to bake soufflés in zero gravity.
Two of Christian music’s most iconic artists, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith join forces to spread the good news, leading congregations in melodious worship on their 2 Friends Tour. Since 1982, this dynamic duo has engaged millions to flock to their catchy, ecclesiastical pop music, sharing a musical camaraderie as impenetrable as a fortress with abandonment issues. Amy Grant, author of No. 1 hits such as “El Shaddai” and “Baby Baby,” has shared her gift of song for more than 30 years, selling more than 30 million albums, garnering six Grammys, and earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Michael W. Smith has earned countless accolades with his tremendous songbook of head-bobbing hymns and choir-rousing hits. Sharing the stage for the first time in two decades, Amy and Michael thrill fans with new psalms and favorites from their sonic scroll, merging their sets with joyful duets and chemistry that crackles like Abbott and Costello after getting struck by lightning.
A gypsy rides through the crowd while standing upon two horses. Behind him follow more members of his troupe, who do back flips off their steeds and then regale spectators with fire breathing and juggling. Performed by the seventh-generation acrobats of Cavallo Equestrian Arts, this spectacle—called Ma'Ceo—often draws standing-room-only crowds every day during the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire. It's these kinds of glimpses into the Elizabethan era that fulfill the mission of bringing renaissance Europe to life. Turning the Kelley Farm into the Village of Merriwick, entertainers of all types, from courtiers to peasants, engage fairgoers with a range of acts. Flanked by her entourage, Queen Elizabeth travels through the streets, perhaps on her way to watch the jousters compete for her phone number, or perhaps to watch sprightly performers such as the Celtic fiddlers or the commedia troupe. Merchants peddle wares to passersby, talking up goods such as hand-forged weapons and armor, hand-tooled leather goods, and roasted turkey legs. Camel rides and bubble-filled buckets cater to kids, and adults can duck into two alehouses where quick-witted wenches pour draft microbrews and ciders. For guests who want to spend the whole weekend immersed in the renaissance festivities, organizers reserve a section of the grounds for tent and RV camping.
Onlookers gasp as the graceful figure tumbles to earth in a slow-motion plunge. Her strong legs twist and spin down a billowing swath of deep-red fabric like a spider expanding its web. It is awe rather than fear, however, that draws the crowd's gasps, as the elegant descent is performed as a demonstration by one of Emerald City Trapeze Arts’ skilled instructors during a silks class. A dedication to teaching students of all ages and abilities the skills necessary to capture both the beauty and athleticism of the circus arts is the studio's main mission, upheld by a cadre of circus-grade instructors and a friendly staff.
Below the soaring ceiling of exposed old-growth beams, students leap and balance on well-maintained circus apparatuses as their instructors correct their form and ensure their safety. The staff welcomes aerial enthusiasts to experience the sky-splitting thrills of all manner of circus specialty, from the flying trapeze to acrobalance to hatha yoga performed on the top of an elephant's stiletto. Along with high-flying classes, Emerald City Trapeze Arts’ crew celebrates the circus arts via dances and parties held within the whimsical-yet-rustic venue, from merriment-packed Halloween festivities to energetic performances by staff and students.