There are many words one can use to describe the Carolina Renaissance Festival.

You can use words like fun, entertaining, enjoyable, exciting, dynamic, fascinating, thrilling, educational, and the list goes on.

The word that might best describe the Carolina Renaissance Festival is “interactive.”  It's one of the most interactive events of its kind.

You can participate in the festival's many amusements or just sit back and enjoy the entertainment. Organizers employ more than 500 costumed characters.

These decked-out entertainers patrol the grounds delighting patrons with songs and tricks. Attendees can also enjoy an outdoor theatre, circus entertainment, a jousting tournament, and Renaissance-inspired art.

If you're into thrills and feats of skill, there are numerous rides and games.

Depart with a hard-earned farthing or two at the Artisan Marketplace—more than 100 vendors pedal their quality handmade wares. And of course, there's great food and refreshing beverages.

The festival is held every year on Saturdays and Sundays from early October to mid-November. In 2018, however, the festivals kicks-off Sept. 29 and runs to Nov. 18.

Gates open at 10am and close at 5:30pm.

The Carolina Renaissance Festival happens whether the sun is out, or rain is coming down. Unfortunately, you'll have to leave Sir Fido and Lady Fluffy at home as pets are not allowed.

This event opened in 1993. With an average attendance of 195,000, it's now considered one of the largest renaissance festivals in the United States.

The event spans a whopping 25 acres. It's grown considerably over the years. When it started, it filled just six.


You'll find the festival just north of Charlotte, North Carolina between the towns of Huntersville and Concord. It's held in the fictional village of “Fairhaven.”

To complicate its geographical location even further, it's primary entrance is in Huntersville (16445 Poplar Tent Road) while its second entrance is in Davidson (15619 Davidson-Concord Road).

You can reach the festival by taking either Interstate 85 or Interstate 77. On Interstate 85, use exit 52 west or exit 55 west. On Interstate 77, use exits 25 east.  For complete directions, visit the festival's website.

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There are more than a dozen stages at the Carolina Renaissance Festival. Many of those rostrums are used for musicians.

Organizers have booked a wide range of Renaissance-inspired, musical performers including singers, instrumentalist, and dancers.

One of the top acts scheduled to perform is the dynamic The CRAIC Show. This foursome rocks mandolins, bagpipes, violins, and percussion.

The band consists of Daniel, Lady Lydia, Dylan, and Tonya. Who plays what instrument?  That's the charm of CRAIC.

hey all switch musical apparatuses throughout their show.


Selected Music Acts Scheduled to Perform

Bathos the Muse
Bobo the Busker
The CRAIC Show
Faewyn Songs & Stories
Harpist Kathleen Finnegan
Harpist Sarah Mullen
The Hidden Harbour Minstrels
The Irish Rogues
Jamila Lotus Dance Carnivale featuring the Redlich Sisters
Keplar the Wanderer
Lady Prudence Court Composer
Merry Meet
The Reelin' Rogues
Roses of the Realm
Sahib Raj Rocknow
SERFS Incorporated


Other Acts

The great thing about the Carolina Renaissance Festival is they schedule a plethora of entertainment. Besides the great musicians listed above, you can also experience acrobats, comedians, storytellers, falconry, fairies, and a walking tree.

Of course, you can't have a Renaissance festival without jousting. Every day, Aventail Productions resurrects the ancient sport in a three-part series that culminates in a joust to the death (a recreation of course).

Do you know that jousting was at its most popular in Europe in the 1400s? And pet owls ?


Selected Acts Scheduled to Perform

The Angels
Barely Balanced Acrobats
Bret Blackshear
Captain Francis Drake
The Comedic Living Statue
The Ded Bob Sho
Don Juan & Miguel
Gi Shiata
Gravity Check
Gunther Tinkerson, Village Inventor
Gypsy Geoff
Hey Nunnie Nunnie
Jeremiah Wiggins
Juniper the Fairy
Knotty Nauticals
London Broil Show
Lord Mayor John Bullfrog
Mother & Father Goose
Rick & Jan
Rick The Hypnotist
The Royal Hounds of Fairhaven
Shamus the Insulter
The Green Man
The Raven
Tortuga Twins
Twig The Fairy
Zilch the Torysteller


Other Attractions

In between live acts, partake in the festival's rides and games. For example, there's the world largest rocking horse, Da Vinci's Flying Machine, and Pirate's Assault Catapult. 

Have you ever ridden a camel?  You can at the Carolina Renaissance Festival.

Cross off another item on your Renaissance bucket list by throwing a tomato at a peasant. You can do that at Vegetable Justice. Afterwards, try your hand at archery.

All rides and games are pay as you go. Prices range from $1 to $5 (subject to change).

Selected Announced Attractions

Axe & Star Throw
Castle Siege
Catapulting Frogs
Climb-a-Lot Tower
Da Vinci's Flying Machine
Dungeon Museum
High Stryker
Jacob's Ladder
King's Chess Master
Master Gamer
Piccolo Pony
Pirate's Assault Catapult
Queen Darts
Shatter the Platter
Slider Joust
The Maze
Toddler's Swan Swing
Vegetable Justice
Voyage to the New World



When you come to the Carolina Renaissance Festival make sure you bring your cotehardie and make sure you bring your appetite.

First, you must get your Henry the VII on and try a turkey leg. Chase it down with specialty coffee drinks, soft drinks, wine, and/or beer.

If you're still hungry, there's waffles, pastries, candy, bread bowls, corn on the cob, steak on a stick, Scotch eggs, gelato, beef jerky, pickles, and much more.

It may not sound very Renaissance-y, but you can get a slice of pizza.




Watch Selected Carolina Renaissance Festival Videos












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16445 Poplar Tent Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078

September 29 to Novebmer 18