The Louisiana Renaissance Festival was inaugurated by a group of local enthusiasts in 1999. The first edition took place in 2000. Although it is the only Renaissance fair in Louisiana, it has competition. The Texas Renaissance Festival is held not far from Louisiana and partially overlaps LARF. Nevertheless, Louisiana’s relatively small Renaissance fair has a strong base of loyal visitors from different states due to its reputation of hospitality. Besides, LARF closes the season of Renaissance festivals in the United States, giving way to Christmas parades.
The Louisiana Renaissance Festival takes place on a location that emulates Albright, a historical village in England during the 1565 fall harvest festival. The illusion is maintained by numerous costumed characters who interact with the patrons, merchants who provide 16th Renaissance inspired clothing, accessories and merchandise, and historical foods and drinks. Although most visitors wear modern clothes, the illusion is still there.
LARF is a theme park, festival, theater, educational experience, and holiday shopping destination with an exciting, adventurous and romantic atmosphere. It offers a rich and diverse program for visitors of all ages. The program features numerous performances, live demonstrations, games and rides, and more. More than 600 entertainers, artisans and educational demonstrations introduce attendees to the best parts of the 16th century.
Just like many other Renaissance fairs, LARF hosts theme weekends to make the festival even more interesting. The theme of the weekend affects its program. For example, the 2016 edition of the festival opened with the Mask Weekend less than a week after Halloween. It was followed by the Heroes & Pirates Weekend dedicated to Veterans Day, the Celtic Weekend, the Time Travelers & Families Weekend, and the Romance Weekend. The last weekend of the festival its the grand Fireworks Finale that closes LARF and the entire festival season.
At LARF, more than a hundred merchants sell clothes, perfumes, jewelry and other handmade products of different kinds, souvenirs and everything Renaissance-related. Restaurants offer historical foods and drinks (turkey legs, bread bowls, shepherd’s pie etc.) as well as modern foods, including ethnic cuisine.
Photo by Darrell Miller