Want to explore the Middle Ages with knights, fairies and other enchanted characters? Don't miss out on the return of the Annual Carolina Renaissance Festival! This year, the festival will be held every Saturday and Sunday starting October 1st to November 20th. Gates open at 9:30am but arrive early! Spanning over 25 acres, this historic European festival is one of the largest outdoor Renaissance-themed festivals in the country and includes circus acts, games, rides, jousting knights, falconry and more.
Have a Merry Ol' Time
The Renaissance Festival welcomes you into the 16th century. Once you cross over to the medieval time, you will be greeted by the fine servants of Fairhaven. The stone structures and colorful banners will guide you through this journey. Throughout the village of Fairhaven, you will hear beautiful pieces of music ranging from the guitar to the harp. The non-stop music is accompanied by a traditional Morris dance, an English folk dance executed with swords, sticks, and bells. Thou dost play well!
Throughout the Renaissance Festival, there is an abundance of activities and games for you to interact with! You can ride the World's Largest Rocking Horse, take a spin on Da Vinci's Flying Machine, or sail the high seas on the Voyage to the New World. Bring the kids along for a weekend and take a ride on a camel or visit the petting farm! Throw tomato at a surly peasant at Vegetable Justice or try your hand at archery! Games & Rides are pay as you play which generally range between $2 and $7.
Feast Like a King
Eat, Drynk & Be Merrie! Getting hungry? No worries. With over 18 options for food and drinks at the festival, there are enough options to try something new with every meal! Feast like a King at the Cottage Bakery, devour the classic meals like Sausage on a Stick at Lancer’s Pub & Joust Kitchen, or indulge in the sweet treats at the Waffle & Crepes Inn. This village makes the best fish and chips, or should I say fyssche and chips. And did you even go to the Carolina Renaissance Festival if you didn’t get a turkey leg? If you’re just looking for a place to quench your thirst, try Tudor Rose Pub or The Cappuccino Inn!
To close the day, come watch knights in shining armor as they battle for their honor in a jousting match! This modern representation of a Renaissance era jousting tournament comes from a historical time of chivalry, nobility and high ideals. By the mid 1200’s, the joust emerged as the most common way to prove which of two (or more) knights were superior. Most contests were a “Joust a Plaisir” (for pleasure) in which a winner was declared on the basis of points scored, though some were still conducted “a l’Outrance” (to the death).
Knights strap on the heavy suits of armor, settle astride snorting chargers, take up their lances and tilt with each other on a large tournament field within the Festival. Watch as the Queen's bravest knights battle for her honor 3 times daily in the shire's tournament area. You won't want to miss this display of daring deeds of bravery and skill including a realistic recreation of a joust to the death!
Special Event Weekends
Throughout the course of the Carolina Renaissance Festival, there are certain specially themed weekends and events that you won't want to miss! From the Pirate's Weekend to the Brewfest Festival, you can find a weekend perfectly suited for you.
October 1st - 2nd
Receive 1 Adult Ticket with purchase of 1 full price Adult ticket! Coupon required. Valid for ages 13 and up.
Kid's Fantasy Weekend
October 8th - 9th
Receive 1 Child Ticket with purchase of 1 full price Adult ticket. Coupon required. Valid for ages 5 - 12 (4 & under always free).
October 15th - 16th
Learn the time honored craft of beer brewing! Sample a selection of fine micro-brewed ale (the traditional drink of the Middle Ages), play a series of RenFest Beer Games, and adventurous costumed ladies are invited to strut their stuff in the Saucy Maiden Costume Contest! All in good, clean fun of course. Prizes will be awarded. BrewFest activities start at 12:00pm at the Haven (behind Edgewood Stage). Sampling sales end at 3:15, sampling last call is 3:30, and activities end at 4:00pm.
Celtic Music Weekend
October 22nd - 23rd
Win tickets for a return visit and much more! Hunky Highlanders are encouraged to show their stuff in the Men of Skills Competition! Contests include a Test of Strength, a Test of Confidence, and a Test of Skill. All in good fun! Prizes will be awarded. Contest 3:00pm at The Haven (beyond the Edgewood Theatre) Huzzah!
Deaf Awareness Day
Certified sign language interpreters will interpret stage performances at select stages located inside the village. Student interpreters from Central Piedmont also will be available to assist with communication in the streets and lanes. Members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community can SAVE with discount admission. Stop by the Deaf Awareness information booth located outside the village entrance for details!
Halloween Daze and Spooky Knights
October 29th - 30th
Enjoy FREE Child Admission with no coupon required for all children 12 and under. Already the Carolinas' largest costume party, the Carolina Renaissance Festival becomes the place to celebrate Halloween! Children and parents alike enjoy the fun and safe trick or treating experience with free treats to be found at over 100 locations throughout the Festival Village. And don't miss the children's Halloween Treasure Hunt with Treasure Chest filled with prizes!
Pirates' Christmas Weekend
ARRRRGH! It's foolish pleasures and pirate's treasures! Plunder the Village with early Holiday shopping and save at the Fairhaven Village Marketplace! Purchase $250 or more in festival arts & crafts and receive two FREE Renaissance Festival Tickets valid for the remaining two weekends of this 2022 season. You can also win free tickets for a return visit (and other prizes too) in the Pirate Costume Contest! Dress as your favorite scurrrrvy dog and win prizes in the Pirate's Costume Contest! Contest 3pm for children and adult contest to follow immediately after at the Haven (located beyond the Edgewood Theatre).
Time Travelers' Weekend
You don’t need a passport to Time Travel to the 16th Century! Come as you are or dress as your favorite time traveling character inspired by movies, TV, comic books, science fiction and/or fantasy - all costume genres welcome! Enjoy book signings by popular local science fiction and fantasy authors! Children ages 5-12 are FREE with a donation of school supplies at the Parent Teacher Magazine, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, and Classroom Central booths at the Festival entrance. (Children 4 and under always free).
The Final Huzzah!
Chomp a Turkey Leg before Turkey Day and don't miss the last chance of the year to experience your best day out in History! Don't miss your last chance to take part in the merriment! FREE child admission with can food donation at the Festival gates!
The Carolina Renaissance Festival is a collision of fantasy and history. Prepare thy heart for a day of entertainment. Thee wilt not beest twid’ling mine thumbs at this festival! Find more details here. And don’t forget to tag us in your time traveling adventure to the Middle Ages @VisitLakeNorman.