Two Peninsulas

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Archive for the ‘entertainment’ tag

Michigan Renaissance Festival

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The Michigan Renaissance Festival is one of my favorite yearly events.  It’s a great place to shop, eat, people watch, see a show, hear some music, have a drink, or just hang out with friends.  There are so many things to see and do that it’s worth it to go back multiple times in a season.

Looking down a street of shops.The Michigan Ren Fest is held every year for about seven weeks, starting in August and winding up in September.  It is open only on weekends (Saturday and Sunday) and Labor Day.  Each weekend has it’s own theme, ranging from Highland Fling to Wine, Romance, and Song.

The Michigan Renaissance Festival is held in Hollygrove, a permanent festival ground designed for the Renaissance Festival, and located outside of Holly.  Vendors usually set up in the same buildings year after year, so it is easy to find a favorite shop.  In addition to the permanent structures, there are many tents set up for other vendors.  The festival grounds feature 16 stages for entertainers, a jousting arena, a castle, several pubs, and a children’s realm with a petting zoo.

A section of the grounds where there are a lot of food stalls.This year over 190 vendors set up shop in Hollygrove.  The shops sell, among other things, clothing, sculpture, pottery, weapons, toys, essential oils, jewelry and flowers.  You can find people who will give palm readings, astrological readings, or tarot readings.  There is a booth where you can smoke a hookah, and one where you can get a henna tattoo. In addition to the shopping, there are many game booths set up, mostly featuring games that will be fun for children to play.  The game booths are reasonably priced - usually it’s $0.50 per play.

There is a wide variety of food available.  You can get soup in a breadbowl, hummus, burgers, turkey drumsticks, ice cream, beer, apple dumplings, scotch eggs, corn dogs. . . or, if you’re in the mood for something a little more special, you can purchase a seat at the Queen’s table for the daily Feast of Fantasy, a six course meal that takes place in the castle.  Food from the vendors runs around $5.00 per item, more or less depending on what you get.  The Feast of Fantasy is $70.00, but that price includes your admission to the festival.

A performer and a good sport from the audience.There are several pubs where you can get a glass of beer, wine, or mead while you take in a performance by musicians.  Seating in these pubs is usually limited, so be prepared to stand and enjoy your tasty beverage.  The musical performances vary from pub to pub - the Guinness Pub usually features rowdier performances in the Irish style of music.

Every weekend there are several special events taking place, depending on that weekend’s theme.  For instance, during Buccaneer Beer Fest, there is a microbrew tasting and a Jack Sparrow Look-A-Like contest.  These events can carry an additional fee to participate.

Admission to the festival is $18.95 for adults, $16.95 for seniors, and $9.95 for children ages 5-12.  Children 4 and under are free.  Tickets are available online for a discount.  You can also purchase a season pass, if you plan on attending multiple times.  You are welcome to bring your dog, but it must be leashed at all times.  Parking is free, but you may find yourself walking quite a distance.  There is at least one ATM in the festival grounds.  Almost every vendor accepts Visa and Mastercard.

It’s very difficult to sum up a festival where there is so much going on.  The best thing for you to do is to come to Holly and check out the Michigan Renaissance Festival for yourself.  Come in costume or in street clothes, but wear comfortable shoes and bring a camera, some cash, and plan to spend at least several hours exploring.

The Essentials

The Michigan Renaissance Festival
1-800-601-4848
http://www.michrenfest.com (visit for information on themes, events, prices, and dates. There is also a list of vendors and foods you will find at the festival)

Directions
I-75 Northbound take Exit 106.  Stay in left lane.  Travel 2 blocks, turn left (southbound) onto Dixie Highway.  The festival is 2 miles south, on the right.
1-75 Southbound take Exit 106 (exit will be on the LEFT).  Merge right, festival is 2 miles south, on the right.

Hours:  10:00 to 7:00 PM, rain or shine.

Seasonal:  Yes, operates mid-August to end of September.  See the website for exact dates for the current year.

Kid friendly:  Yes

Handicap Accessible:  Yes.  The festival grounds are dirt, and therefore may be muddy in spots depending on the weather.  Be prepared.

Written by Rebecca

September 21st, 2008 at 3:36 pm