What began in a 22 acre field in 1971 as "A Celebration of Nature, Art, and Life!" has grown into the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, modeled after a 16th century village with King Henry and Lady Elizabeth and their court in daily attendance. It is the largest Renaissance Festival in the United States with an annual attendance of 280,000 people.
We have been attending off and on since the early days, and it was fun to bring our grandsons this year and buy them hand crafted wooden shields and swords... just like we bought for our son about 30 years ago!
Each weekend has a theme with many special events. This weekend included a Fairy Festival. For many taking part in the festival, dressing up is a big part of the fun. Our granddaughter became a fairy, complete with a sprinkling of fairy dust. With over 250 artisan booths ranging from pottery to jewelry to period clothing and everything in between plus tons of faire food and drink there is something for everybody.
For a number of years I was a regular at the festival, singing with the Elizabethan Syngers throughout the realm and part of the daily parade with the King and Queen. Other daily events include live armoured jousting three times a day, 16 stages with a wide range of live entertainment throughout the day... and Feast of Fantasy, a 6-course feast with 2 hours of entertainment.
Ren Fest is fun for the whole family, with over 30 games and rides including pirate ship swing ride, a castle climbing wall, animal rides (ponies, war horses, camels, llamas and elephants), fencing, and catapulting.
The fun continues at the Minnesota Renaissance Fesitval weekends from 9 am to 7 pm through September 30... HUZZAH!