The Michigan Renaissance Festival, or RenFest for short, runs every year from mid-August to early October. Michigan’s RenFest started in 1979 as a five-weekend event in Clarkston and is now set in its permanent location in Holly on 17-acres. The festival features 17 stages and over 300 artisans which attracts more than 250,000 visitors. The 16th century themed festival offers more than great artisans and shows, it offers games such as full-armored jousting, Irish Heavy Game (They throw tree trunks!) and much more. With every festival, you need to be prepared, using my seven years of RenFest experience, here is what you need to know to survive the Michigan Renaissance Festival.
Everybody loves a discount or a hell-of-a-deal as I like to call it. The RenFest was formerly a cheap ticket as long as you brought some canned goods, but now, almost $30 a ticket for an adult. Bargainstobounty.com offered a 50 percent off deal for a limited time, looks like the offer went quick, something to watch for 2017. The festival offers four ticket outlets at Kroger, Goodwill, Walgreens and Menards, you can find a $3-off coupon at these locations along with Subways and Big Boy (coupons only). Tickets are also sold upon arrival, I suggest to bring cash for the quickness of that particular line.
DBW (Designated Backpack Wearer):
I suggest a backpack over a drawstring bag because of structure. Much of the artisans make candles, incense and glassware that can easily be moved or broken in a drawstring bag.
The RenFest offers the impulse buyer a plethora of opportunities to purchase items they don’t need, including handmade weapons! A dagger or any sort of weapon will easily rip a lightweight bag.
Empty Stomach and an Open Mind:
It’s the 16th century, so eat like it’s the 16th century! Fortunately you don’t have to hunt down some poultry. Turkey legs are massive so grab ahold of the bone and dig in. Scotch eggs, if you can fit all of my favorite breakfast items in one food, its destine to be a favorite. Lastly, my personal favorite, pickle….on a stick. A massive pickle, on a popsicle stick, cannot beat that.
There is a gentleman who dresses as Shrek the ogre every year, every year. Get your photo’s taken, he’s there for the fans. Quality guy.
While I have not mustered up the so called ‘guts’ to witness a show, to survive a Ded Bob show has been rumored to be one of the truest test of a knight.
Nobody wins when it comes to parking at RenFest. Although free, you will start about a half-mile adventure into the woods eventually coming to the fairy-tale land. Bring some comfortable shoes or if you’re dressing up to join the fun, put some gel insoles in the wooden shoes. Warning: if you go before or during rain, prepare for mud and lots of it.
The Renaissance Festival is an amazing experience and only you can make the most out of it. Dress up, yell HUZZAH, drink some ale, eat an entire turkey leg and enjoy the 16th century!