Jousting knights, kings, queens, wenches, fairies, and even pirates, the Carolina Renaissance Festival is considered one of the best in America. The fair comes alive every weekend in October and November on a permanent a 25-acre 16th-century theme park that Disney would be proud of. Non-stop, day-long amusements delight children and adults alike. Activities and entertainments include comedy skits, Celtic music, games, rides, jousting knights on horseback, and feasting
Encompassing a broad time-frame, the festival includes historic and elaborate costuming from several eras including medieval wenches, renaissance royalty, and 17th-century pirates. The grounds comprise one of the largest Renaissance fairs in America including twelve stages packed with continuous humorous performances, music, dance, and circus-style entertainments.
I was surprised by the enormity and details of the olde English village grounds — the fictional storybook village of “Fairhaven,” and even more so by the fact that not only were the actors and vendors dressed in medieval garb, but many of the tourists (sometimes called “playtrons”) participated in the “time travel” by wearing period costumes and walking the grounds in character… having a grand olde time!
For maximum fun, attend dressed up in your favorite Renaissance character costume! Don’t worry if you want to take part in the fun but don’t own a medieval costumer – there are numerous shops selling and renting costumes on the grounds.
You can even test your strength and aim by throwing a tomato at a surly peasant at Vegetable Justice!
Food vendors in the Carolina Renaissance Festival are everywhere, including the ever-present giant turkey legs and steak-on-a-stake.
In addition to the food, there are also shops selling artwork, pottery, jewelry, and other handicrafts. My purchase was fun and unique (and expensive!): iridescent, ethereal fairy wings!
I’m already thinking about an accompanying costume to wear to the next year’s festival. I want in on the fun!
The Carolina Renaissance Festival is just a 20-minute drive from Charlotte, North Carolina. Here are more fun things to do in Charlotte:
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About the Author
Patti Morrow is a freelance travel writer and founder of the award-winning international blog Luggage and Lipstick and southern travel blog Gone to Carolinas. TripAdvisor called her one of “20 Baby Boomer Travel Bloggers Having More Fun Than Millennials.” Patti is the author of the book “Girls Go Solo: Tips for Women Traveling Alone,” and has over 150 bylines in 40 print and online publications, including The Huffington Post, International Living Magazine, Washington Post Sunday Travel, Travel Girl, Travel Play Live Magazine, and Ladies Home Journal. She has traveled six continents looking for fabulous places and adventure activities for her Baby Boomer (and Gen X!) tribe.