Minnesota Renaissance Festival – Shakopee, Minnesota

Posted on November 18, 2012 by

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival was first staged in 1971 and over the course of its 40 plus year run has grown to the point where it now attracts over 350,000 visitors every year.

Like many other large Renaissance Festivals the Minnesota Renaissance Festival attracts over 100 artisans and vendors every year and dozens of different entertainers. The Festival is actually the place where magicians Penn and Teller first tried out their unique act on an audience and current singing star Jason Mraz got a taste for show-business by playing the role of a pickle boy for several seasons as a teen.

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is also a little unusual in that unlike many other Ren Fests it does not only cater to humans all season long. Once a year the Pet Weekend invites pet owners to bring their animals into the Shire with them as long as they dress the part!

In addition to all of the vendors and performers there are more than 25 ‘kitchens’ offering a variety of different kinds of food and drink.

The Setting:

Shakopee, as it might have been had it existed in 16th century England. The storyline is an interesting one in Renaissance Festival terms as its royal casts features both of the monarchs that are usually associated with Ren Fests, Henry VIII and the then Princess Elizabeth, putting the time period in the 1640s.

When it is Held:

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is held every year from the second weekend in August until the last weekend in September.(August 17 – September 29, 2013)

Festival Highlights: 

Feast of Fantasy – The Feast of Fantasy is a rowdy adults only affair that features a themed six course meal and a plentiful supply of beer and wine. The Feasts are held twice a day every weekend and feature entertainment and education (in the form of things like insult lessons and 16th century courting etiquette)

Childrens Realm – An entire section of the Festival grounds is devoted entirely to the enjoyment and education of younger fair-goers. Children can make their own magic wand, learn to cook some of the most basic dishes of the day, receive a knighthood or dame-ship from the King and even ‘train’ to become a shephard.

Ye Olde Pet Fest – One weekend a year festival goers are invited to bring their dogs along to participate in a weekend themed around pets. There are both costume contests and a chance for dogs to win prizes during disc and frisbee contests.

Popular Rides – Popular rides featured at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival include the Climbing Wall, swings and slides, the Rocking Horse and trampolines.

For Tickets and More Information: http://www.renaissancefest.com