This post does contain affiliate content. All opinions expressed are my own 🙂
Huzzah! One of our absolute favorite traditions is heading to the Carolina Renaissance Festival every year. In fact, Tyler and I have gone every year for the last 10 years with the exception of the year I was pregnant with Wyatt. We get there as soon as the gates open in the morning and stay until relatively close to closing time. When we tell people this they typically ask how we manage to stay THAT long. The truth is, we just enjoy the atmosphere and entertainment so much that time just escapes us. This year was no different! Okay, it was a little different. Part of our tradition every year is that we go only the two of us. We have never, ever gone with a big group of people. We just always enjoy that time together just the two of us, playing by our rules of the day. However, this year, for the very first time, we went with my sister and her boyfriend and it was still a total blast.
Tyler and I arrived at our usual “30 minutes until opening” to get a good parking spot up close to the exit of the fair grounds. We never usually fully dress up but we do our best to be semi in character haha. To us that means ruffle tops, flower crowns and wrist cuffs. I bought this adorable boho ruffle sleeve blouse because I was obsessed with the fact that I could wear it off the shoulder if I was feeling froggy. My flower crown I scooped up on Amazon as well and the quality was outstanding I would highly recommend this Amazon seller for anyone looking for accessories for a wedding or something. Now, my absolute FAVORITE part of my RenFest outfit were my over-the-knee boots from American Eagle. Not only were they super adorable but also incredibly comfortable. I have wore over-the-knee boots in the past that synch pretty intensely around my mid-thigh but these didn’t do that at all and the comfort lasted all day and through a ton of walking. I was nervous they would sag down as some do but nope, we were good to go!
Anyway enough about my RenFest assemble, haha. First thing we do every year the moment we walk through the gates is make our way to the beer stand. Yep, we’re talking about 10 AM here (this is a judgement free zone, back off Karen). The Foothills Pumpkin Ale with Spices is our no questions asked choice every single year. Oh my gosh but last year they did something to it and it tasted like pumpkin mixed with flowers or perfume, it was awful. We were super happy to taste that they got their sh*$ together this year and went back to the OG. Seriously, the greatest fall beer (I think they also sell it in stores too! Foothills Brewing Pumpkin Ale with Spices). We always get our beer from the “hidden in plain sight” beer stand. It’s a small beer cart that sells only two Foothills beers and there is never, ever a line even in the busiest parts of the day. For those local to the Carolina festival, it’s the beer car right across from all of the food, near the rock climbing wall.
After we grabbed our first brews of the day, we took a lap around the entire festival. At this point there is almost no one on the fair grounds so we basically have the place to ourselves to look in shops and stuff like that before the crowds (I would completely recommend getting there at opening for this reason.) So, like I mentioned earlier, this was the first year that Tyler and I were going to be meeting up with people as we typically just go the two of us. However, this year we made the exception for my sister and her boyfriend because, well, as you can see…they really get into it which we completely respect.
I could not believe how fantastic their costumes were and apparently they had been working on them for three months! Worth it, because they looked absolutely awesome and totally on brand, haha. What I mean by that is, there are always a few types of people you see at RenFest every year. At least one Pikachu, a few pirates, Harry Potter, and various other costumes from incorrect eras or realms all-together, haha. But hey, everyone is having fun, do your thing.
Once we met up with my sister and her boyfriend, we began walking the festival looking for interesting stuff to look at, shows to watch and food to eat. First thing: gotta get a Turkey Leg. These things are massive and so incredibly delicious. I feel like, did you even go to RenFest if you didn’t eat a giant Turkey Leg? I think not.
The day was filled with archery, blacksmithing, and various shows from some of our favorite performers. The shows we absolutely must see every single year: London Broil, a juggling show and The Dead Bob Show. Fun fact with Dead Bob, the shows get more, how do I say, “adult funny” the later you see them in the day. We always save that one for last.
All-in-all it was an absolutely perfect day minus the VERY cold weather. which ended up being just warm enough as the day went on. We look forward to this day trip every single year and can’t wait until we can take our little guy who will just be in awe of that place. I can totally see him thinking he has stepped into another magical world and I am so okay with that. For those thinking about going to the Carolina Renaissance Festival or the one in your area, here are my biggest tips:
- Buy your tickets online and just show them the e-ticket. I can’t tell you how many times we almost forgot our paper tickets.
- Get there early, at least 15 minutes before the gates open at 10AM so you can get a parking spot right near the exit of the festival.
- Going along with getting there early for better parking, honestly, from about 10 AM to noon, the festival is 100% less crowded. We always go early every year.
- Don’t make fun of people. I see and hear it a lot while I am at the festival and it’s awful. Remember, the people you see there that are super dressed up look forward to this all year and for the simple reason of dressing up like this. It might be the only time they feel like they fit in, so tell them how great they look 🙂
- London Broil and The Dead Bob Show are must see shows but see the later shows for more adult shows (not dirty just more funny commentary).
The RenFest is the ultimate pre-holiday activity and it will 100% be worth your Saturday or Sunday. The Carolina Renaissance Festival runs every single year from October 5-November 24 from 10 AM until about 4 PM Saturday and Sunday. You can buy your tickets here!
Have you been this year? What are your favorite parts of the festival? Let me know in the comments 🙂