ren fest returns
Texas Renaissance Festival calls Houston lords and ladies to mead up for ale, performances, and more
Lords and ladies — and fans of mead: guess what’s back?
The Texas Renaissance Festivalhas officially opened its doors for the 49th season, welcoming people of all ages to come experience the magic of the nation’s largest and most acclaimed festival of food, fun, and immersive Renaissance experiences. Located one hour north of Houston, the festival takes place over eight themed weekends, running now through Sunday, November 26.
More than 51,000 people attended last week’s opening weekend celebration of The Queen’s Birthday — that’s 33 percent higher attendance than last year’s opening weekend and 43 percent higher than 2021. TRF expects to welcome more than half a million visitors to this year’s event.
The festival’s 55-acre Renaissance village transports visitors to a fantasy world of jugglers, bards, acrobats, games, rides, restaurants, pub crawls, and more than 400 shoppes and artisans. With 21 stages, The King’s Feast, contests and themed celebrations each weekend, there is something for everyone. Parents get free admission for children five and under every Saturday and kids 12 and under every Sunday.
This year’s festival will also host two Deaf Awareness Weekends: this Saturday and Sunday (aka the Weekend of 1001 Dreams) and November 18-19 (for Highland Fling Weekend). These weekends will feature American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters at dozens of shows and events taking place.
“It has been our honor to host Deaf Awareness events every year since 2015, to celebrate diversity and create more inclusive and accessible festival experiences for our deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing patrons,” said Todd Wold, marketing director for the Texas Renaissance Festival.
Here is a full list of Ren Fest's themed weekends, per the lords at Ren Fest.
Oct. 14-15: 1001 Dreams
This weekend is devoted to fairies, elves, and other fanciful. Attendees may participate in the fantasy costume contest or show off their skills in the fiery dragon-wing eating contest. As noted above, this weekend is also a Deaf Awareness weekend featuring American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters for Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing patrons.
Oct. 21-22: Pirate Adventure
This weekend features a Best Dressed Pirate costume contest and a Fish-N-Chips eating contest.
Oct. 28-29: All Hallows Eve
Extra ghouls and ghosts will appear throughout the grounds. Attendees may participate in a Halloween costume contest and Kettle Korn eating contest — both for “spook-tacular” prizes.
Nov. 4-5: Heroes and Villains
Indulge in creative anachronisms at this weekend devoted to heroes and villains both real and fictional from across time. Does that mean Hercules versus Thanos in this weekend's costume content? Maybe. Or they'll square off in the gyro eating contest.
Nov. 11-12: Barbarian Invasion
Feasting and plundering will be featured as attendees compete in the worst dressed barbarian and a turkey leg eating contest.
Nov. 18-19: Highland Fling
If it's not Scottish, it's crap at this weekend that features Highland games, a Bonnie Knees costume contest, and a haggis eating contest (recitation of Robert Burns strongly encouraged). This is also a Deaf Awareness weekend featuring American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters for Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing patrons.
Nov. 24-26: Celtic Christmas
As always, the event wraps up with a three-day celebration of the coming Yule-tide season. The entire village is decorated for the holiday with festive music, a costume contest, a pumpkin pie eating contest, and a chance to shop the vendors at a discount.
Stay and Play:
More than 200 acres of camping facilities offer a great value for patrons and families who spend the weekend. New Stay and Play packages that offer a great value for patrons and families who stay for the weekend. They include:
- Festival admission for both Saturday and Sunday
- Weekend camping pass (Thursday to Monday) at the Fields of New Market
- Access to special Fields of New Market events, including fun activities for kids at the Apprentice Gazebo
- Excitement for adults with admission to The Knight’s Club after hours party (age 21+).
The Texas Renaissance Festival has established daily capacity limits to ensure that every patron experiences the festival at its best, so advance ticket purchases are advised.
For more info and tickets, go here.