The hugely popular Carolina Renaissance Festival returns to celebrate its 28th anniversary on Saturdays and Sundays from October 2 to November 21. Located just north of Charlotte, NC, the festival blends imagination, fantasy and history in a 20-acre open-air storytelling village filled with non-stop shopping, feasting and entertainment.
A simpler time and place
We are in the 16th century and the fictional village of Fairhaven is the place where revelry and celebration reign supreme. Villagers, artists, artisans, musicians, performing groups and food dealers create a market festival to celebrate the arrival of their visiting queen. It is a place where adults can feel and act like children while children are treated like royalty. It is a magical kingdom where you can forget about your daily worries.
To the sound of trumpets and cannon fire, the Lord Mayor orders the gates of Fairhaven to open at 10:00 a.m. and close at dusk. The day is filled with an abundance of attractions suitable for all age groups, presented on 16 outdoor stages, each filled with a unique mix of continuous music, dancing, comedy and circus performances. From barely balanced acrobats to one-of-a-kind old world musical instruments, the entertainment options are endless. Performances on stage are always spontaneous; you will never know what happens next, on stage or off.
Don’t miss the Birds of Prey exhibit where the Royal Falconer will don his hunting costume and take you on an exciting journey into the past by explaining and demonstrating the use of hawks, hawks, owls and more in the ancient sport of falconry. It is both informative and impressive!
The Renaissance Festival would not be complete without a performance of one of the most grandiose events of the time – the popular Joust du Tournoi! Performing three times a day, each game is filled with pomp, pageantry, action, comedy and chivalry as spears shatter, swords clash and daring acts of bravery all collide for the queen’s pleasure!
From the gallant knights to the wonders of the vast ocean, the mayor goes above and beyond once again in an attempt to win the favor of the queen with a personal gift – the return of the fairies of the sea – swimming mermaids! Kids love watching mermaids perform underwater jumps, blown bubble hearts and splashing tails!
Action & Adventure
The Carolina Renaissance Festival is home to a most unusual collection of human-powered rides and games of skill. Inspired by the joust? Try your skill with a spear on the Slider Joust challenge game. You can storm the castle in a paintball battle or try to solve the puzzle of climbing Jacob’s ladder. Mix skillful fun and comedic adventure as you toss tomatoes at the insulting fools locked in the stocks of Vegetable Justice. Test your skills in games like dragon climbing tower, archery range and maze. Take a ride on Christopher Columbus’ journey to the New World, the Piccolo pony (a rocking horse larger than an elephant) and Leonardo’s flying machine; a human-powered merry-go-round based on Di Vinci’s designs for human flight. A family favorite is Mother and Father Goose, brought to life by their costumed ducks and geese, the educational farm, and camel rides.
First-time holiday shoppers can browse over 140 craft shops in a village market that offers a diverse selection of handmade items such as pottery, jewelry, perfumes, blown glass ornaments, ceramics, bath and body products, medieval costumes, hand-carved candles, unique musical instruments, children’s toys, a full line of clothing and much more. Watch the artisans create a masterpiece before your eyes. Enjoy demonstrations of refined skills such as weaving, woodcarving, blacksmithing, glassblowing, pottery, and jewelry making, all using ancient skills and low technology.
You will whet your appetite as you browse all the shops and enjoy all the entertainment. The food at the Festival is as spectacular as any of the attractions. The village kitchens cook up an endless feast of stews of bread bowls, steaks on stake, gourmet sausages and the famous Festival roast giant turkey thighs. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are also available. For dessert, try fresh pancakes, cakes and cookies from Monks Bakery, candy delicacies from the Chocolate Shoppe, Italian ice cream, ice cream and a favorite of every Renaissance wanderer: a sack of almonds. grilled with cinnamon. The festival pubs offer a wide variety of craft beers, wines, champagne, ale, honey mead, soft drinks and medieval margaritas.
It takes a village
Job seekers and volunteers can find plenty of opportunities to join the kingdom and earn extra income while enjoying the regal atmosphere. Earn $ 12 to $ 15 an hour for yourself or get involved with a non-profit organization that raises money for charitable purposes. Duties include helping with food service, steering cars, checking waste and / or working the stagehands for one of the 16 outdoor stages of the Festival.
Bring out your sense of good humor, put your worries behind you and travel back in time to enjoy the ever popular and always entertaining Carolina Renaissance Festival & Artisan Market Place!