Michigan Renaissance Festival

For 37 years, the Michigan Renaissance Festival has offered Michigan an opportunity to time-travel into the 16th Century. Chuck and I love an adventure and this one looks like a good one. It includes time-travel, beer, music and an excellent adventure map!

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(Image credit: Michigan Renaissance Festival)

The Michigan Renaissance Festival is held in Holly, Michigan within a 17-acre village called, “The Village of Holly Grove.” The festival is held weekends and Labor Day, August 22nd thru October 4th, plus Festival Friday, October 2nd. I’m sure you are thinking, “So pick a weekend and put it on the calendar.” Now hold on to your horses Becky. There are “Theme Weekends” and each offers something slightly different and 17 stages offering music, theater shows, and comedy to consider before we pick a date. The entertainment list is impressive and there are more than 300 artists, and food vendors. This year they have a new attraction the “Beer Academy with Professor Angus MacLaddy.” Plus, we need to decide what to wear! Patrons are encouraged to wear their Renaissance garb. OMG my head is spinning.

We need your help planning our Michigan Renaissance Festival adventure! If you have any advice or recommendations, please leave us a comment. 

Theme Weekends

The Highland Fling and High Seas Adventure are the top two contenders with the Royal Pet & Ale Fest as an option but I think we may have conflicts that weekend.

The Highland Fling includes Highland Heavy Games and Men in Kilts Contest plus a Micro Brew Tasting. This weekend is a strong contender.

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(Photo credit: Michigan Renaissance Festival)

Beer Academy

We heard from a highly confidential source, Professor Angus MacLaddy is a featured guest this year. He is a lecturer from the School of Highland Academic Tasting Studies (SHATS) who specializes in beer styles, beer history and socially unacceptable inebriation. MacLaddy’s class will provide a brief history of this glorious nectar, as well as analyze styles from Scotch Ales to Belgian Triples. The best way to analyze styles is by drinking them so beer samples will be provided.

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Entertainment Options

The Noble Cause was voted best Jousting Troupe of 2014! They’ll be back this year with their Knights in shining armor riding their stunning war-horses while their ladies riding cheer them on.

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(Photo credit: Michigan Renaissance Festival)

Music

There are many talented musicians on the festival roster, but Raven Song caught might my eye. We had the pleasure of seeing them at the Gears, Beards, and Beers Event in Jackson, Michigan in March. They played a great mix of Celtic music which included old standards such as “Whiskey In the Jar”. We hope to catch their show at the festival.

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Need your help!

If you have any recommendations for shows we shouldn’t miss, please leave us a comment. If you have a story about the Festival you’d like share we’d love to hear it. Keep in touch with us by signing up for our email or you can find us on FacebookTwitter, and Tumblr. Cheers!

28 Comments

  1. Last year, I really enjoyed “Tartanic.” They are a musical troupe featuring bagpipes, drums and dancing girls. What’s not to like?

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    • True! But I’ve heard that Professor Angus MacLaddy is a featured guest this year. What do you know about him?

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    • My favorite memory is the first year I moved to michigan and had never seen anything like this……the costumes…..the people playing in roles……..the happiness……..the silliness………it was a great welcome to michigan from Montana weekend!

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  2. “leave a comment with your favorite RenFest memory on our blog”:

    One year, we lost our 8 year old son at the Ren Fest. He got distracted with various things and walked away from us and we didn’t noticed immediately. We looked down and he is gone. It took us a bit to find him, safe and unharmed and having a blast as usual. Mom and I celebrated this adventure in successful parenting with beer. (don’t judge me!) LOL

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  3. How far people used to have to walk because they had to park so far down Dixie Highway.

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  4. How far people used to have to walk because they had to park so far down Dixie Highway. Hot as heck out.

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  5. Taking my then boyfriend (now husband) to his first visit to the Ren. Fest back in 2003. Was a great time!

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  6. My best memory was when a couple years ago we brought our granddaughter who was 6 we all had so much fun.. Everything fascinated her

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  7. Best memory was taking my then bf, now hubby, for his first ever visit to a Ren Fest in 2003 and the washing well wenches getting him!

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  8. Being dressed as a pirate and hanging with my crew “The Forgiven” at the Guiness Pub with The Dutchman listening to Roane.

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  9. I have this great memory of the first time I ever went to a renaissance faire. I got put in jail and snuck my way out, only to be thrown back in jail again! The jousting is always my favorite and I can’t wait to go again some day!!

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  10. Eating huge turkey legs and riding an elephant once are my fave Ren fest memories!!!

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  11. We have been going to this festival for the last 3 years. My eleven year old just loves it. He had gotten into the whole midevil times back when he was 7 or 8 and we took him thinking how much fun he would have but we all had fun. There is something for everyone there. I now have 2 toddlers that we take and they have justvas much fun seeing all the different characters walking around along with some of the rides and animals. And my favorite is the different foods and my husband’s favorite is the beer and we all love the jousting shows.

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  12. Our son, Thomas, who passed at the age of 25 last year, liked knights, shields, swords and all after visiting castles inGermany. Taking him ,and he also took his girl friend ,to the festival was always fun. We still have his code of armour flag hanging on our wall which he picked out long time ago.

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  13. It was truly a wonderful experience when we went to Eastern Market and picked up our royal passes and tickets, to meet and listen to the performers was tremendous fun.

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  14. This would be my first year… is there camping nearby? Just bought a new camper, sounds like fun!!

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  15. My very first time here, i attended with my fiance and my soon to be best man. We were watching the parade and the jester ran up to me and acted as if he were going to hand me a flower. When i reached for the flower, he quickly smacked me on the top of my head with it instead. And of course, when the jailers brought the prisoners about and asked my husband to insult them, my husband said “you suck” the jailers promptly started yelling out “you suck” to the shackled ones. We laughed so much. We were married that November with a renaissance themed wedding.

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  16. There are so many memories I have, it’s hard to choose just one! But, if I have to….it would have to be going to Ren Fest with my entire family and going to see Ded Bob. My father was called up on stage to play Ned. He had everyone cracking up, that for the rest of the day people were coming up to shake his hand and take pics with him.

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  17. Love the jousting, always a fun time and a great way to spend the day.

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  18. Me & my lil brother use to go every year with our mom. Its been ovr 27 yrs since ive been bck but i still recall the smells of the food & insense! Best memory was of us sneeking off to have our mom arrested, thn her having to do silly stuff to get out of jail 🙂

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  19. My favorite memory is the constant smile on my face the entire visit and so many laughs my stomach hurt. I love it!

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  20. Sharing a big turkey leg with my 5 year old son. The food is the best! I also loved getting put in jail haha and shopping was great!

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  21. Dressing up is my favorite part. It really takes you back to olden days. Getting to pretend you are someone elsr in a fantasy land is amazing. You can go to the different shopping stalls and buy great things. I also like the fairies. So magical. It’s history and magic all in one. ♡♡[

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  22. My favorite memory of Ren Fest is our trip last year. My husband and I spent the first day of our honeymoon at Ren Fest. The day started out beautiful, but by the afternoon it started to rain. It didn’t bother us, we love the Festival rain or shine. We saw all our favorite shows – Ded Bob, The Wasing Well Wenches, the Joust, Knotty Nauticals and the Pirate Auction (hint, hint; wink, wink; nudge, nudge!). Every year there has been something new to discover and an old friend to see again. That’s how you feel every time…like an old friend and you don’t want to leave. Raising my tankard to you all for another great season – Huzzah!!!!

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    • CONGRATS AMY! You won our random drawing! Thank you and everyone else that left comments 🙂 Amy – we’ll send you an email to get your address to mail the tickets to you.

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  23. A high-ranking clergyman dressed in hellfire red from head to toe was selling indulgences. We bought one for our friend, whereupon he loudly accosted the man, shaming him visciously to the delight of passers-by and the amusement of the children. Commanding him to his knees to beg for God’s mercy, of which he was most obviously and decidedly undeserving, he placed a hand on his forehead and bellowed the lewdness of his sin for all to hear. (Some stuff we prompted, some he just made up, and though he never broke character, he cracked himself up a few times.) He ended with a disgusted dismissal of the lascivious wretch before him, and offered his deepest condolences for us, those misfortune enough to keep his company. Good times.

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  24. I really enjoyed the jousting tournament and also the demo with the birds.

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  25. Watching the jousting competition with my kuds when they were younger. ..

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