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South Florida yankees in King Arthur's court

We get the "Wenches Weekend" and the turkey legs. In the Florida Renaissance Festival's enduring drive for authenticity, some period elements at the multi-weekend event in Deerfield Beach are necessary: curvy, bodacious bodices, jousting on horseback and, yes, animal meat on a stick.

But a St. Patrick's Day weekend? A Time Travelers weekend? What say ye, festival founder Bobby Rodriguez? "We take certain liberties for the sake of entertainment," the organizer admits with a laugh. "On Facebook, 98 percent wanted a steampunk-y weekend. The other 2 percent made this cheeky comment, like, 'Oh, sure, let's time-travel to the 18th century. There was technically a Renaissance then!' "

The 21st edition of the festival is expanding to six weekends this year at Quiet Waters Park, prompted, Rodriguez says, by a so-called "tremendous outpouring of support" on Facebook and the festival's website. Saturday and Sunday will offer a wine-and-chocolate-filled Romance Weekend, followed by a Pirates Weekend (Feb. 16-18); the aforementioned Wenches (Feb. 23-24) and Time Travelers (March 2-3) weekends; the Explorers weekend, celebrating the 500th anniversary of Ponce de Leon's arrival in Florida (March 9-10); and St. Patrick's Day weekend (March 16-17).

Rodriguez says the festival will feature the premiere of new stage performers, some with outrageous cockney accents. They include Buckle and Swash, a comedic sword-fighting duo, and the R-rated camp from female twosome Iris and Rose.

The Florida Renaissance Festival returns 10 a.m. to sunset each weekend from Feb. 9 to March 17. $7-$20 daily, $65 for season pass. 800-373-6337 or

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