Which path will you choose?: Renaissance Festival ’22

By: Briana Dixon | August 16, 2022

The Michigan Renaissance Festival is an annual 16th-century-inspired outdoor event that has been taking place since 1979. The festival setting is created to mimic the English villages that existed under the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, with a fictional village called Hollygrove. Attendees can expect 17 stages of entertainment showcasing musicians, acrobats, magicians, jugglers, sword fights, lane acts and jousting, along with a feast, and child-friendly games and activities for all ages. There will also be a marketplace, filled with over 100 artisans, advertising hand-crafted items, and specialty food and drinks. Here’s where you’ll find all the action…

Patrons can either bear witness to all the costumes worn to emulate characters such as pirates, vikings, nobles, rogues, wizards, wenches, and more, or partake in the fun and have a chance to win the daily costume contest. The festival will occur every weekend for 8 weeks, starting August 20. There is a different theme each weekend to provide each participant with an authentic experience that speaks to the authentic 16th-century lifestyle. The themes include Pirates & Pups, Highland Fling, Vikings Invasion, Wonders of the World, Shamrocks & Shenanigans, Harvest Huzzah, Festival Friday, and Sweet Endings. 

The festival activities are plentiful, so rest assured dull moments (if any), will be few and far between. Some are included with admission, while others require an additional ticket. The guided Pub Crawl, hosted by the entertainers, comes with a collectible Pub Crawl mug, one drink at each of the four pubs, and a collectible stamped leather Pub Crawl Passport and requires the additional purchase of a Pub Crawl ticket. Then there’s the Hawk Walk, an opportunity to be guided on a walk through nature by a Master Falconer and to hold a large bird of prey on your arm. The walk is included with admission and starts before the festival, at 9:30 a.m. At the end, participants will be greeted by a light platter of cheeses and fruit as the birds return to their abodes.

In the spirit of Halloween, there’s also a chance to learn more about owls, ravens, and vultures, which are considered to be ‘Halloween’s messengers. The Falconers will teach about the myths and magical legends of these creatures, and afterward, allow guests to hold and take pictures with them. Light refreshments will be available and no additional ticket is required. The Whiskey tasting is a chance to be entertained by Whiskey Lore and enjoy five tine tastings, equipped with sweet truffles, fruit, and delectable cheeses. This tasting is not included with the admission ticket.

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Then there’s the King’s Happy Hour, where guests can partake in the sampling of ales and tasty hors d’oeuvres and fried chicken wings while being amused by jokes, songs, stories, and dancing. An additional ticket must be purchased to attend. The Royal Masquerade Ball is a time for fancy gowns and suits, a delicious meal, music, dancing, and a mask contest, all included with the admission ticket. That same day is Ladies Shopping Day, which entails shopping and wine. Tickets are discounted and include a glass of wine, a coupon book with discounts from some of the artisans, and if purchased before September 16, a gift bag full of goodies. Side note, anyone can take advantage of this deal, not just the ladies! The Feast of Fantasy, held at Blackstone Castle, is a six-course gourmet meal with a variety of beer, wine, and soda to choose from, along with water. The menu rotates weekly with vegetarian options available, and there will also be live entertainment, which is all included with the admission ticket as well. 

In addition to all the exciting events, there will also be a bit of friendly competition going on with various contests happening throughout the duration of the festival. The mural and fairy house contest can no longer be entered, but attendees will be able to see all the beautiful creations and vote for their favorite. There’s also the belly dancing contest and archery contest that are still accepting participants. 

For more information, follow Michigan Renaissance Festival on Instagram and Facebook @michrenfest. Tickets are available for purchase on the official Michigan Renaissance Festival website.