Medieval fun and food: Carolina RenFest is back

Medieval fun and food: Carolina RenFest is backTwenty-two acres of medieval fun will come to life next weekend when the 17th Carolina Renaissance Festival and Artisan Marketplace opens its seven-week run in North Mecklenburg.

The event will be held on Saturdays and Sundays for seven consecutive weekends, from Oct. 9 through Nov. 21, at the wooded festival grounds at N.C. 73 at Poplar Tent Road, east of Huntersville. Called Fairhaven, the 16th century village features continues Renaissance music, 10 stages of dance and comedy, circus acts and period food vendors.

A cast of 300 medievel commoners, knights and royalty who roam the site give the village an authentic flavor.

The attractions also include a birds of prey exhibition where the royal falconer will don his hunting garb explaining and demonstrating the use of falcons, hawks, owls and more in the ancient sport of falconry.

The festival’s most popular event is its jousting tournament, which is repeated three times a day in a 2,000-seat arena. “It’s one of those types of events that people plan for,” said Matt Siegel, the festival’s entertainment representative. “And it’s one of those staple events in our opinion that you just can’t miss.”

There are also lots of activities for children, including some people-powered rides and games of skill like the Slider Joust challenge game, storming the castle in a paintball battle or trying to solve the riddle of climbing Jacob’s Ladder.

“If you’ve never been here before, once you walk in through the gate for the first time you’ll wonder why you never came before,” said Siegel. “For those that haven’t been in recent years keep in mind that it’s growing every year as we continue to add new attractions and new entertainment.”

More than 100 craft shops in an open-air village market sell handmade items such as pottery, jewelry, perfume, glass blown ornaments, ceramics, bath and body products, medieval costumes, hand carved candles, unique musical instruments and children’s toys. Visitors can also enjoy demonstrations of fine skills such as weaving, woodcarving, blacksmithing, glassblowing, pottery and jewelry making.

Hungry? Renaissance Festival food includes bread bowl stews, steak-on-a-stake, gourmet sausages and giant roasted turkey legs.

Admission to the festival is $19 at the gate, $8 for ages 5-12.

Advanced tickets ($18 and $7) can be purchased at Harris Teeter stores. For more information, visit RenFes tInfo.com

Source: Mooresville Tribune

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