The Georgia Renaissance Festival is one of my favorite annual Atlanta-area events, and I’ve been looking forward to attending for weeks! King Arthur: Legend of the Sword really got me in the medieval mood. The festival runs weekends from mid-April to early June in Fairburn, GA every year. Their last weekend in 2017 is June 3 – 4, so it’s your final chance to go if you don’t want to wait until 2018!
I’ve been going to the Renaissance Festival every year since I started college, so I’ve come up with some recommendations and tips for your first (or next) trip to the GA Ren Fest!
Purchasing Thy Ticket
Normal tickets for adults are $22 at the gate, and $19 online! I definitely recommend that you check out the weekly themes schedule at the start of the season. If you’re a college student like me, you can get a heavily discounted $8 ticket at the gate if you show a valid college ID! Huzzah!
Partaking of Food & Drynk
There is a ridiculous amount of food available at the Georgia Renaissance Festival (much of it fried), but I tend to gravitate towards my tried-and-true favorites (fryed mac & cheese on a stick, King’s Weinie, smoked Turkey Legges). The great thing is that most of the food is super heavy, so if you’re at the fair with someone else, definitely plan to share! I always get a refreshing ginger beer, which is like ginger ale with the ginger flavor turned up a notch.
Sample some Merlin’s Magical Cinnamon Almonds, & buy a bag to bring home with you!
I was also really excited to find out that Dole Whip is now available – pineapple heaven!
Viewing Ye Olde Entertainment & Artisan Demonstrations
There is so much to see at the Georgia Renaissance Festival, so you’d better grab a Map of the Kingdom at the beginning of the day to make sure you don’t miss anything! My personal favorites are the Joust and Icabod Wainwright’s Wheel of Death. Hypnotists, bards, acrobatics, comedy shows… there’s a little something for everyone.
In between shows, make sure you check out all of the neat artisan demonstrations, including hair braiding, glassblowing, coin minting, and more! Of course, you can also buy your very own treasure to take home with you (and in some cases, you can watch it being made in front of your very eyes)!
This year, we checked out the Bows of the Risen Son archery booth and had a super-quick archery lesson! I may or may not have added a bow and arrows to my Christmas wish list as a result.
(Sidenote – I know “ye” was actually pronounced “the”… but for some reason saying “ye” is so much more fun)!
Preparing for Thy Quest
Every great adventure requires some planning, and the Ren Fest is no different! Be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen, because while there is shade, you’ll likely be spending a lot of time standing/sitting in direct sunlight. This is actually the first year that I didn’t end up with a sunburn!
Make sure you stay hydrated. The Georgia heat is pretty extreme, especially in May and June, and it’s easy to get dehydrated without realizing it. I’d recommend drinking a bottle of water before you even head into the Ren Fest. I hate paying for bottled water, so I usually buy another beverage and refill it from the water fountains once it’s empty.
Bring cash! There are ATMs, and some vendors take a card, but it’s so much more convenient to come prepared with cash. Make sure you bring smaller bills to tip your favorite performers! On the subject of money, I also recommend that you take a stroll and check everything out before you start to spend; you may find something you really want to buy/eat/do further in the festival! Like throwing axes, for example.
Wear something comfortable. I’ve dressed up more and more each year that I’ve attended the Ren Fest, and I highly recommend you try it, but make SURE that it’s something you want to wear out in the heat all day. The paths around the fair are dusty and gravelly, so good shoes are a must. If you do want to wear a heavy dress or suit of armor (or even a dragon costume), I suggest bringing a change of cooler clothes to leave in the car. As much as I love the long sleeves and voluminous skirt of my dress, I was definitely starting to sweat by the end of the day!
Speaking of my dress, does it look familiar? You may have seen it in this post – it’s one of my sewing projects! I felt suitably regal, especially with some eye-catching earrings. If you don’t have time to DIY a costume and don’t have one in your closet already, there are plenty of costumes and accessories for rent or purchase at the festival!
There’s so much to do at the Georgia Renaissance Festival that I can’t really cover it all in one post, so feel free to ask me about anything I didn’t mention here! What’s your favorite Ren Fest tradition? Have you ever been to the Ren Fest? Let me know in the comments!
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