The Carolina Renaissance Festival was inaugurated in 1994. The festival site is located between the towns of Huntersville, North Carolina and Concord, North Carolina. What started as a six acre fairground is now a 25 acre theme park disguised as the medieval village named Fairhaven.
The festival is held on Saturdays and Sundays in October and November. Just like any Renaissance fair, the Carolina Renaissance Festival has a medieval marketplace where vendors from all over North Carolina sell handmade art and craft goods such as artisan leather goods, handmade jewelry, candles, and blown glass.
Major attractions include jousting tournaments, professional entertainment acts, games and rides, weddings and vow renewal ceremonies, themed weekends, live falconry demonstrations, and more. Jousting tournaments are held three times a day. They are a modern representation of Renaissance era jousting tournaments. The tournaments feature professional stunt riders and actors clad in authentic looking armor and welding blunted swords.
The festival also has twelve stages for professional performers. Stage shows feature dance, live music, comedy shows, circus performances (sward swallowing, juggling, acrobatics). Musicians perform with traditional instruments such as bagpipes and the harp. Street performers and costumed characters from the festival’s in-house performance company interact with visitors, creating a more authentic feel of Renaissance-era England and help to bring the fictional village of Fairhaven to life.
To make the festival even more interesting for attendees, the organizers host several themed weekends. They include Kids FREE Weekend (children get a free pass), BrewFest Weekend, Celtic Music Jams Weekend, Halloween Daze & Spooky Knights, Pirates’ Christmas, Time Travelers Weekend.
Of course, a Renaissance fair can’t do without medieval themed foods. Here visitors can try traditional foods such as steak on a stake, giant turkey legs, fish and chips, corn on the cob, Scotch eggs, various soups, chowders and stews served in bread bowls.
In addition to the above, the festival also hosts medieval-themed weddings and vow renewal ceremonies. Quite a lot of couples from all over the country come to the festival because they want to have an unforgettable themed wedding. Depending on their budget, they can choose from 3 packages: Noble Romance, Regal Enchantment, and Royal Revelry.
Photo by anoldent