Call me a dork all you want but I like going to the Michigan Renaissance Festival. For those of you who have never gone, the festival celebrates everything Renaissance Era (1300’s-1600’s AD) with a little fun and humor mixed in. From characters in costume, food, shopping and entertainment, there’s a little bit of everything to enjoy for adults and children alike.
Sounds weird but one of my favorite things to do there is to just sit and people watch (and maybe have a nice cold beer and eat a giant turkey leg!). In the spirit of fun a lot of people come to the festival dressed in costume. Also, the festival itself hires its own people to dress in character and walk around and interact with people. You may meet Queen Elizabeth and her entourage or you may see someone being hauled off to ‘jail.’ Also, watch out for the Washing Wenches. They like to heckle anyone who walks by, especially handsome men.
Another fun thing to do is watch the jousting events and other skits that are performed periodically throughout the day. The audience is usually involved in some shape or form during these scenarios which makes each one a little different and almost always funny. Sometimes the characters that are walking around will just spontaneously start to perform so you never know what’s going to happen next. A tree may even come to life and start talking to you.
There are a lot of things to do for young children as well. One whole section is devoted to kids with a play area and craft area. Throughout the festival there are over 50 free kids’ activities! Also, there are some medieval rides that the kids will like (parents, you won’t like these so much – they cost extra).
Every weekend has a theme. This weekend (Aug. 24-25), the theme is ‘Highland Fling’. If you decide to go, bring in 4 non-perishable (non-expired) food items at the gate and receive $5 off your admission. All the proceeds benefit Lighthouse of Oakland County. The festival is located at 12600 Dixie Highway in Holly and is open on the weekends now through September 29th, 10am to 7pm. For more information go to http://www.michrenfest.com. Don’t forget to try a turkey leg and the delicious dill pickles from the pickle vendors. I know it sounds strange but they are so good!