Food, entertainment, even a King and Queen in a Renaissance setting. It is time again for the award-winning Christmas Madrigal Dinner at Hope College, being held on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7-8.

As in the time of Shakespeare, guests gather at the royal court for an evening of singing, dancing, feasting and general merry-making. The feast features fine food, a wassail toast, figgy pudding and a boar's head procession.

The select, 21-member vocal ensemble Collegium Musicum provides much of the musical entertainment; they will be joined by an ensemble of early instruments. Period dancers under the direction of Linda Graham of the Hope dance faculty will be performing as well.

The dinner begins at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Maas Center, located on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.

Guests are encouraged to arrive early, beginning at 6:30 p.m., so they may be announced and escorted into the dinner.

Tickets for the evening are $16 for adults, $13 for children under 12 and $5 for Hope students on the college's meal plan. Tickets, which have sold out in the past, may be purchased in advance by calling the college's department of music at (616) 395-7650 during weekday business hours. The office will be closed on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23, because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The dining service program at Hope received a first-place award this summer in the 28th annual Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards contest of the National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) for last year's Madrigal Dinner. The catering staff decorated the dinner's Maas Center venue to re-create a castle's grand feasting hall, complete with tapestries and suits of armor. Candlelight and buffets constructed of cut stone helped lend atmosphere, and the wait staff worked costumed in monks' robes and serf garb.