The Carolina Renaissance Festival

Welcome to Fairhaven
The Carolina Renaissance Festival is held every year in Huntersville, North Carolina. It's only open during the fall months, since the entertainers travel around the country performing in different states. You can usually visit the parks between September and November, but the dates change yearly. The Carolina Renaissance Festival takes place in a fictional town called Fairhaven. This year, Fairhaven will receive over 100,000 visitors from all around the world. The Carolina Renaissance Festival is not the largest renaissance festival in the nation but it is among the top.

People from all walks of life can enjoy The Carolina Renaissance Festival, that's one of the reasons I love it so much. Anyone with the imagination of a child would love to walk to streets of Fairhaven and enjoy all the magic that can only be found in such a mystical place. Everyone's interest peaks over the traditional jousting tournament that is held 3 times daily, but there are numerous other adventures to be had.

The fairgrounds are in the shape of a horseshoe, with niche shops lining both sides of the street. Musicians, poets, storytellers, acrobats, and even those sexy belly dancers perform on different stages throughout the day. It's even possible to meet some of your favorite acts wandering the streets of Fairhaven, greeting the visitors and usually inspiring a smile. But if you want a chance to meet with the King or Queen of Fairhaven, you're better off holding your breath. They are very busy and rarely have time to mingle.

My favorite part of the experience is seeing all of the different merchants and artisans displaying their wares. There are over 100 merchants that sell their wares in Fairhaven. Each shop is cleverly designed to resemble buildings of the renaissance. Some are designed as magical wonderlands themselves. There are many different items to be purchased at The Carolina Renaissance Festival. You can invest in your very own renaissance costume, find pewter oil bottles, hand crafted swords, unique leather designs and other pieces of art work that are only imaginable inside the gates of Fairhaven.

I was lucky enough to get to visit the festival over the weekend with my husband. We had a great time mingling with the cast and getting a taste of the magic this place holds. We were able to take a number of great pictures even though it's nearly impossible to experience everything Fairhaven has to offer in a single day. Even after going for many years, I still see something new every time.

When you first walk into the park you are greeted by a number of beautiful geese. Mother Goose and Father Goose have the first stand in the park. The children love to see these cute animals. There are also other animals in the park. There is a petting zoo which features goats and horses as well as other farm animals from the renaissance. You will also find camel rides and the Hounds of Fairhaven, a lovely group of grey hounds.

* TWIG *
As you walk the streets of the park you will be greeted by many different costumed characters. One favorite, that visitors look for every year is a cute little fairy named Twig. A few years ago, Twig was featured on the entrance ticket. She's definitely a highlight of the fair. She's so beautiful and has the most amazing wings I've ever seen. Definitely let your children take a picture with her, she hands out fairy pebbles to everyone that takes her picture. She loves the attention. She doesn't speak while in character but she has great facial expressions and a talent for acting.

The stage performances are also wonderful attractions. Whether you are looking to dance or to laugh, you will find something of interest on one of the 11 stages in the park. The dance group, The Jewels of the Caravan, are always a great attraction every year. The girls of the tribe are joined by drummers and a few other percussion players that accompany the dancers. Dances range through a number of different cultural styles. Indian, African, and Middle Eastern influences are highlighted while the belly dance is the star of the show. The dancers sashay across the stage with swords on their heads and spin with rings of fire. The danger makes the sex appeal even more stimulating. The Jewels of the Caravan are definitely a must see at the festival.
Jewels of the Caravan

If comedy is what you are looking for, then you are in the right place. Most of the acts are family friendly which makes The Carolina Renaissance Festival perfect for the children. However, a number of acts are labeled "LC" for "loose cannon" and parents are to decide if these acts are appropriate for their children. Most of them are great for older children but one of the beauties of this festival is that there are plenty of opportunities for adult fun. The most popular comedy act is put on by a trio of performers that call themselves "The Tortuga Twins", which is comical because there are 3 performers and none of them are related. Most of their shows, during the day, are family friendly and always draw a large crowd. The trio's final show is their raunchiest. It immediately follows the final jousting tournament and the crowd is even larger than the shows from earlier in the day. The jokes range from dirty masturbation humor to topical political and pop culture.

Speaking of the joust. The Royal Joust is the highlight for most festival guests. A full stadium seats over 400 guests with plenty of standing room. The King and Queen of Fairhaven, along with their court, take a seat in full view above the stadium. Keeping with tradition of the Renaissance Festival, the jousters and their horses are dressed in full armor. The danger is reduced in such a public atmosphere but the performers (and their horses) are still at risk for life threatening injuries. Again, the danger in such acts is jaw dropping and inspires the curiosity in the guests.

Brew Making
If you're going, remember to pick your faorite theme weekend. Each weekend is dedicated to a different theme. Sometimes they have Pirate Theme, Kids Theme and Adult Beverage Theme. It vary's year to year. This year we went kid free and decided to go for the Beer Garden. It was $14 for 5 medium sized cups of beer from a few different breweries. One part that particularly stuck out was the "beer making" that was set up to the side of the bar. Occasionally different people would stir the pots or add different ingredients. There was also a table set up to display ingredients that you would find in the different beer. I had fun chatting with a beer wench. She described the different grains and answered all of my half drunk questions about the fantasies of making beer.

It's no wonder that Fairhaven draws so many visitors each year. With so much to see, it's impossible to experience everything Fairhaven has to offer in just one day. You must come back year after year to truly understand the essence and the mysticism behind the festival! It's a magical place when you can go to free your mind for a day. To me it's better than Disney. The Carolina Renaissance Festival will continue to be a tradition for my family and I hope you'll find a similar festival to experience for yourself.

(All pictures are mine. Please try to credit me if you use them.)

Father Goose
Lady Rose Recites Poems and Songs
Trolls and Shrooms

Twig's A Cutie

Hubby Approves Of Turkey Legs and Beer

I'll Use It If I Have To
I'm So Dangerous
A Tortuga Will Slap A Bitch

Put That Thing Away
Why So Cereal?
The Jewels of the Caravan
Met This Guy... IDK Who He Is

The Joust


Do You Want To Know Your Future?

Beer Making
Two Drunk Beer Wenches
Types of Malts
These roses smell like roses... But they are metal!
Dragon Sculpture
Hamlet - These Girls Quote Shakespeare
It Really Makes Me Happy
Stone Shop

Hubby Basking In The Glow Of The Renaissance (Sweet)
This Glow Is Killer
Dragon Fountain
Audience Participation
Had Such A Beautiful Time