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Maryland Renaissance Fair Water Shortages

Updated: Mar 28

Every year my family and I go to the Renaissance Festival in Crownsville Maryland. This year was the first time that every restaurant and tavern ran out of water. On average 1000-3000 people attend the festival per day. Although the temperature ranged from 86 to 90 degrees, today Sunday, Aug. 27, attendance was no different, with huge crowds, as families with children, disabilities, and the elderly flocked to the festival for a good time.

As I walked among the crowd of costumed families and spectacle goers, I heard chatter that water had dried up around 3 pm. “Who has water?” was constantly being heard as people pleaded with others when they said they found water in the far reaches of the fair. Some bought four bottles of water at a time when they could, but soon after all that was heard was “we’re all out.”

On average they expect large crowds, but the recent heatwave this summer with alcohol consumption seemed to have exacerbated the water shortage issue. They didn’t buy enough for the crowds “what we normally go in a week, we went through in a day and a half,” a bar tender at one of the taverns said. “Mylde Drinks To Cool & Soothe Thy Brow” shopkeeper said the whole compound was out of water. However, although unexpectedly having exhausted their water reserves, taverns and merchants were offering customers ice in an attempt to curb dehydration. “We’ll be bringing in a water shipment tomorrow.”

Many fair goers faced with the lack of water, were consuming soda and beer. At one point, I witnessed a young girl faint, her friends surrounding her and fanning her back to a semblance of consciousness. Many resorted to going to the medic’s quarters where they were tending droves of individuals clambering for water. Paramedics remained on standby offering fairgoers water and ice. Some sick individuals due to heat exhaustion had to receive fluids through an IV. The fair ends at 7 pm and with four hours still left until closing time and many individuals still entering the sold-out affair, the paramedics will no doubt continue to be busy.

With more sold-out dates coming in the days to come, those attending the fair, should do well to bring their own supplies of water and hopefully the fair organizers will be better prepared with a greater supply of bottled water.

By Alex Fernandez