Best time to go to North Carolina

Carolina Renaissance Festival 2024

Go back in time among dozens of costumed characters, enjoying music and feasting on ale and turkey legs

Dates: October 5–November 24, 2024 (on weekends only)

Carolina Renaissance Festival
Carolina Renaissance Festival
Carolina Renaissance Festival
Carolina Renaissance Festival
Carolina Renaissance Festival
Carolina Renaissance Festival

The Carolina Renaissance Festival takes place during weekends in October and November between Huntersville, North Carolina, and Concord, North Carolina, near the city of Charlotte. The festival takes place in the fictional village of Fairhaven. One of the largest Renaissance fairs in the U.S. draws about 200,000 visitors annually. It was founded in 1994 by Jeff Siegel.

Festival highlights

The Carolina Renaissance Festival offers entertainment on 14 stages, including live music, comedy, dance, and circus. Every day, the village hosts special ceremonies attended by the Royal Court. The festival features three jousting tournaments every day with the participation of the Aventail Productions stunt group. The realistic recreation of a joust to the death features impressive knights in shining armor showing off their bravery and skill in a three-part performance.

Visitors will be amazed by the Ancient Art of Falconry presentation as well as skillful jugglers, aerial silks, acrobats, and musicians playing instruments like harps or bagpipes. Don't miss the Vaudeville Dancing Pig Show featuring Rick and Snorkel at the Merriment Stage! Mother Redempta and Sister Philomena of the Sisterhood of the Wailing Souls, The Washing Well Wenches, and Gunther Tinkerson, the Village Inventor, are just a few of over 500 costumed characters roaming the streets, providing an interactive experience of Renaissance times.

Children's entertainment

Each day, visitors can see a Mermaid exhibit with mermaids in a large aquarium tank. Children are amazed by those beautiful Sea Fairies and their underwater flip and splashing tails. Another fun character is Fireflicker, a curious young dragon, who likes shiny things and enjoys socializing with young knights and princesses. Several fairies also call the village of Fairhaven home. Saffron and Primmrosetravel the Land of Real and spread joy and magic!

The Village Artisan Marketplace

More than 140 vendors demonstrate their craftsmanship and unique merchandise in the Village Artisan Marketplace. Check out handmade arts and crafts: jewelry, artisan leather, stained and blown glass, candles, hair combs, and other goods. Carolina Renaissance Festival is a great place to shop for kilts, gypsy clothing, pirate clothing, hats, and children's Renaissance costumes. Vendors also offer wood swords and shields, elf ears, fairy accessories, garlands & hats. House of Bubbles Food options make for a proper feast with turkey legs, soups, stews, and chowders, fish and chips, corn on the cob, and other traditional dishes.

Activities at the marketplace include hair braiding, face and body painting, heraldry, hair weaving, astrological readings, gypsy fortunetelling, psychic reading, caricature creation, as well as shoulder, neck, and foot massage, Visitors can try games like axe throwing, archery shooting, crossbow, frog catapults, and a gold coin hunt.

Tickets and hours

The fair runs from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, rain or shine. Free parking is available. Tickets for the Carolina Renaissance Festival can be purchased online and at the gates. Season passes are also available. Check for discounts and coupons, which appear on the official website from mid to late September and are available while the supplies last.

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Last updated: by Olha Savych