Carolina Renaissance Festival

November 26, 2013

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.

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Renaissance Festival people

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.

Renaissance Festival girl

You can even test your strength and aim by throwing a tomato at a surly peasant at Vegetable Justice!

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Food vendors in the Carolina Renaissance Festival are everywhere, including the ever-present giant turkey legs and steak-on-a-stake.

Renaissance Festival turkey2

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!

Renaissance Festival 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 MorrowPatti 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.


  1. Comment by Marilyn Jones

    Marilyn Jones Reply February 11, 2014 at 4:25 am

    What fun! I love the picture of the little girl!!

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply February 11, 2014 at 8:56 am

      That was my favorite photo, too! She and her father were not actors, they were just “tourists” enjoying the day. They stole the show!

  2. Comment by Irene S. Levine

    Irene S. Levine Reply February 11, 2014 at 1:32 am

    Where is the festival?

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply February 11, 2014 at 8:54 am

      16445 Poplar Tent Road, Huntersville, NC 28078 – (704) 896-5544 or toll free at (877) 896-5544

  3. Comment by Donna Janke

    Donna Janke Reply February 10, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Looks like fun. I’ve never been to a Renaissance Festival, but have plans to attend one in Arizona next month with a friend. I’ll see how that compares to what I see in your pictures.

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply February 24, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      It was really well done — I enjoyed myself so much that I’m actually considering going back next year in costume!

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply February 24, 2014 at 8:43 pm

      It was very well done. In fact, I had such a good time, I’d like to go back next year… in costume!

  4. Comment by Suzanne Fluhr

    Suzanne Fluhr Reply February 10, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    I play the recorder (seriously, I took lessons for 12 years!). I’d love to try being a musician at a Renaissance faire. I love the polyphonal syncopated music, but it can be hard to read the music because sometimes they didn’t bother with bar lines.

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply February 10, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      I think the music is one of the best parts of the festival. It adds a very enchanting atmosphere to the whole thing!

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