HOLLY – The Michigan Renaissance Festival is back and celebrating 39 years of family fun. From small beginnings at Columbierre, to one of Michigan’s finest regional attractions.
The Michigan Renaissance Festival was first held in 1979 in Clarkston. This inaugural Festival featured renaissance dancing, archery contests, jugglers, mimes and madrigals. The Renaissance Festival attracted 11,000 patrons during its 5-weekend event. As attendance to the popular event grew, so did the number of artisans, demonstrations, entertainers and foods.
The show has continued to develop fans throughout the years, offering more each year in entertainment, education, food and art. Now seeing the more than 250,000 fans a year, the Festival has provided opportunities for fans to escape from this realm and journey into a time when Kings and Queens rule and Mermaids and Fairies are more than just a dream.
There are plenty of new additions to the roster in 2017, including Merlin’s Magic Quest, a Throne of Swords modeled after the iconic seat in Game of Thrones, a Bloody Mary Bar and the Valley of Aberdare Obstacle Course.
Elyssa Croak, a marketing coordinator for the Michigan Renaissance Festival, said persons of all ages can join in Merlin’s Magic Quest, which typically involves 30-80 participants per day. The quest, which functions as a scavenger hunt around the festival, bids players to “follow clues, solve puzzles and engage in a battle of wits.”
Croak also noted the popular Dragon’s Dens restaurant has expanded space and seating this year.
The rest 2017’s theme weekends and activities are as follows: Highland Fling – August 26 and 27 – Highland Heavy Games, Men in Kilts Competition, Scottish Dancers, Keg Toss and Scottish Market; High Seas Adventure – September 2, 3 and 4 – Beard Competition, Tattoo Competition, Pirate Costume Contest and Knights on Bikes Discount; Wonders of the World – September 9 and 10 – Belly Dancing Championships, Dr. Who Costume Contest, Steampunk Invasion, Steampunk Costume Contest, Time Traveler’s Ball and Deaf Awareness Weekend; Shamrocks and Shenanigans – September 16 and 17 – Irish Heavy Games, Celtic Market, Men in Kilts, Flint Scottish Pipe Band; Harvest Huzzah – September 23 and 24 – BBQ Festival, BBQ Championships, Archery Competition and Harvest Market; Sweet Endings – September 29 and 30, October 1- Chocolate Festival, Shakespeare Stage Takeover, Fencing Championships and Wedding Wars. — S.T.