Fall is seemingly trying to start early this year, which is more than okay by me. While autumn has numerous wonderful aspects, one of the most popular early fall events in Metro Detroit is the annual Renaissance Festival in Holly.
This year, the 2013 Michigan Renaissance Festival kicked off on Saturday, August 17. The festival is open on weekends and runs through Sunday, September 29. Every weekend has a different theme, so take a look at the following list for the lowdown on each.
“Highland Fling!”: Saturday, August 24 and Sunday, August 25
Each weekend, the Renaissance Festival will feature a Themed Feast of Fantasy, which is new to the festivities this year. The feast costs $65, and covers your admission to the festival, as well as a six-course meal. This weekend, the menu includes Fall Roast Corn Chowder, Herbed Pork Loin with Spicy Apricot Sauce and much more. Make sure you arrive at the castle hungry!
Other events this weekend include a beer tasting, Men in Kilts Competition, Scotch Egg Eating Contest and free vow renewals.
“High Seas Adventure!”: Saturday, August 31 through Monday, September 2
Those of you with body art and a beard that would rival ZZ Top, get ready for the Tattoo Competition and Beard Competition taking place over the weekend.
An Arm Wrestling Championship and Perfect Pirate Contest are also on the schedule.
“Wonders of the World!”: Saturday, September 7 and Sunday, September 8
The weekend will feature a Traditional Middle Eastern Dance Competition with soloists, groups and ensembles.
If dance isn’t quite your forte but you’re still looking for a creative outlet, you might want to participate in the Fantasy Mask Competition. All you have to do is craft a mask out of whatever materials strike your fancy, and you could be on your way to winning the $100 grand prize!
For those of you food lovers out there, there will be an Egg Roll Eating Contest and the Chopstick Olympics this weekend. Wine tasting and Grape Stomping will help you wash all that down.
“Shamrocks & Shenanigans!”: Saturday, September 14 and Sunday, September 15
Calling all cooks! This weekend is the big BBQ Competition where you can show off your skills and walk away with a prize. The various categories include turkey legs, beef ribs, sausage and pork ribs. While the food will be prepared and sold both days, the actual competition will take place on Sunday.
If baking is more your style, Pie Wars is taking place this weekend as well . Whether you specify in fruit, custard or crème, there’s a spot for you in this contest.
The weekend will also include a Longbow Competition and Pickle Pie Eating Contest.
“Festival Friday!”: Friday, September 27
This is the only Friday that the festival is open, so you won’t want to miss out. The evening’s special event is the Masquerade Ball, which begins with snacks at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 8 p.m. For $65 a person, you’ll be able to sample a little bit of everything, including Stuffed Italian Chicken, Blackened Salmon, Roasted Vegetables and more.
Today is also Ladies Shopping Day, where a $20 ticket will get you admission to the festival, a glass of wine and a coupon book for the festival’s artisans.
“Sweet Endings!”: Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29
The final weekend of the festival will be full of all things sugar. The 2nd Annual Cupcake Crusades will be held, with recreational bakers taking the stage on Saturday and professionals on Sunday. The grand prize winner will walk away with $200, so dust off your recipe box and start baking!
A Fudge Fling, Couple’s Chocolate Pie Eating Contest and Chocolate Festival will round out the weekend of sweetness. If that’s too much sugar for you, there will also be a Fencing Competition and Juggling Competition to take part in.
Advance tickets to the Renaissance Festival cost $17.95 for adults and $9.50 for children ages 5 to 12. Tickets at the gate cost $20.95 for adults, $11.95 for children and $18.95 for seniors and students with valid ID.
Obviously no trip to the Renaissance Festival would be complete without a costume, so make sure you’re decked out accordingly! You can’t exactly dine on turkey legs and throw back a pint of beer properly while you’re wearing office attire.