From staff reports
To celebrate its 15th anniversary as the Carolinas’ biggest kingdom of outdoor entertainment, the Carolina Renaissance Festival has planned two months of non-stop entertainment, feasting and games, Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 4 through Nov. 16.
At the Carolina Renaissance Festival, the entire 22-acre kingdom forms the set for comic adventures, in which you can be both audience and part of the fun. With a cast of over 500 costumed characters, the festival is like a Monty Python movie come to life.
Festival fans can leave their cares behind and enjoy the pleasures of a simpler time in a storybook town where you can choose from continuous music, dance and comedy shows, shop for wonderful arts and crafts; plus games, rides and a feast of exotic food and drink.
You can throw tomatoes at the insulting fools locked in the stocks at Vegetable Justice. Cheer for your favorite mounted knights (or pirate) at three jousting tournaments each day. Or test your skill at games like the Dragon Climbing Tower, the Archery Range and the Maze.
In the festival’s vast 16th century European village, an expected 160,000 revelers will find shows on 10 stages of continuous entertainment, including fan favorites back for the anniversary celebration:
• The sharp wit of the Ded Bob Show.
• All three Tortuga Twins.
• Zilch the Torysteller.
• The dangerous balancing theatrics of Dextre Tripp.
• The dashing swordsman Don Juan and his zany servant Miguel.
• Birds of Prey demonstrations of majesty in flight.
• And hundreds of minstrels, dancers, jugglers and jesters.
New entertainment this year includes:
Cast in Bronze – America’s rare traveling carillion. Weighing over 13 tons, this unique musical instrument features 48 bronze bells. It is the only musical act of its kind in the world. Cast in Bronze has been invited to perform for both Pope John Paul II and the Presidential Inauguration.
The Pirate Joust – While searching for a new ship & crew, landlocked Pirate Captain Ben Black stumbles into the tournament arena and discovers a passion for jousting.
Hither, Dither, & Yon – This musical trio of maidens will tickle your fancy and your funny bone. You’ll laugh then you’ll laugh harder; a lot of naughty, a little nice, the perfect mix of sugar and spice.
Families will enjoy the King, Queen, and there Court (where kids can be knighted by royalty), Mother and Father Goose brought to life with their costumed flock, rides on the people-powered Da Vinci’s Flying Machine, Christopher Columbus’ Voyage to the New World, the Slider Joust, and the Piccolo Pony (a rocking horse bigger than an elephant).
The food is as spectacular as the entertainment. Festival kitchens cook up an endless feast of Scotch eggs, bread bowl stews, steak-on-a-stake, gourmet sausages, and the festival’s famous giant roasted turkey legs.
For dessert, try the fresh crepes, the cakes and cookies from the Monks Bakery, candy delights from the Chocolate Shoppe, and a favorite of all renaissance wanderers: a bag of cinnamon-roasted almonds.
Festival pubs offer soft drinks, beer, wine, champagne, ale and Medieval Margaritas.
When the Carolina Renaissance Festival was introduced to the Charlotte area in 1994, the shows took place on three stages amid six acres of village attractions. Now 15 years later, the event has grown to become one of the largest renaissance festivals in the country.
In addition to purchasing advanced discount tickets at Harris Teeter stores region-wide, Festival goers can now print their own discount tickets in advance online at RenFestInfo.com.