Kansas City Renaissance Festival

Kansas City Renaissance Festival
Photo: kcrenfest.com
The Kansas City Renaissance Festival is an annual Renaissance fair that takes place in the city of Bonner Springs, Kansas, Unites States. One of the longest-running Renaissance festivals in the country, it attracts an audience of about 200,000 every season.

The first Kansas City Renaissance Festival was held in 1977 as a benefit for the Kansas City Art Institute. The event was a success, so that it was decided to hold it each year. The festival remained a benefit for over two decades. It became a standalone event in 1999, after being purchased by Mid-America Festivals, which also manages the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in Shakopee. The festival was transformed into a business venture and began to grow.

The Kansas City Renaissance Festival is held at a 16 acres permanent site. It is set in the 16th-century Canterbury during the reign of King Henry VIII and incorporates pirates, Robin Hood and his band of “merry men”, and some fantasy elements. The festival opens in early September and runs through late October. It is open weekends plus on Labor Day and Columbus Day.

Presently, the festival features over 20 stages and more than 150 shops and booths, offering high-quality entertainment and unique handmade wares and artwork. Non-stop entertainment at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival includes stage acts (music, dance, comedy, juggling, magic, fire dance, etc.), street acts involving costumed characters (villagers, lower and middle class citizens, fairy tale characters, the Royal Court), musical groups, and the Children’s Realm.

Like most other Renaissance Fairs, the Kansas City Renaissance Festival hosts themed weekends and special events. Each weekend offers unique events and activities relevant to the theme. For example, 2017 themes included Passport to the World, Highland Gatherings, Ales & Tails, Shamrocks & Shenanigans, Wine & Chocolate Delight, Buccaneer Beer Fest, Harvest Huzzah, Witches & Wizards. Special events include Daily Royal Events, fairy tale weddings, group events, parties, and educational activities.

The festival also has a big marketplace with artisans, food, and various games, rides and activities. The marketplace provides a unique shopping experience with more than 150 artisans and shops in several groups, such as fibers & apparel, astrology, glass, jewelry, leather, blacksmith, musical instruments, paint & caricatures, pottery & sculpture, stonework, woodwork, and others. Food vendors offer a variety of foods and snacks, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free dishes.

Kansas City Renaissance Festival

Photo: Nancy




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