Tennessee Renaissance Festival finishes off 32nd year

Actors and actresses preparing for their performances at the 2017 Tennessee Renaissance Festival. (Meredith White / Sidelines)

Photo and Story by Meredith White / Contributing Writer

The annual Tennessee Renaissance Festival has been enchanting festival-goers for over 30 years, and the amount of excitement produced by the festival hasn’t lessened since it first began in the late ’80s. Escaping into the unique world of 16th Century England at the Village of Covington Glen in Arrington truly makes for everlasting memories.

The Renaissance Festival is far from its youth but has yet to lose its appeal. Instead, year after year, the grounds are swamped with hordes of people.

While strolling through the entrance, the Renaissance Festival is a lot to take in. Immediately thrust into the world of the Renaissance, there are multiple shops selling everything from homemade weapons and jewelry to authentic costumes and household items. Finding entertainment is easy here, especially while interacting with the several cast members casually walking amongst the public.

Buckle and Swash Pirate Show actor Ryan Giglotti explained the festival as “good family fun, (letting) people get away from their normal lives and inhabit another reality for a couple of hours.”

“There’s a little something for everybody,” Giglotti said. And he’s completely right. There are fun activities for children of all ages. Various kinds of entertainment are scheduled throughout the festival’s hours including many family-friendly interactive comedies and the more adult-friendly acts like Axel the Sot. While some may come just for the food — especially the always-popular, giant turkey leg — others simply come for the experience.

There is genuinely nothing else like the Arrington Renaissance Festival that is exclusively open to the public in May. For a small fee, gain access to an entirely unique world for a day: watch the jousting competition, experience the Birds of the Gauntlet exhibit, get your fortune read or your hair braided, shop for goodies (weapons, jewelry, tapestries, home décor etc.) and even tour a real-life castle at the famous Castle Gwynn.

Here, no two days are identical because each weekend features a different theme. For example, the opening weekend allows children and grandparents free admittance with the purchase of two adult tickets. Other themes include Artisan and Crafts weekend, which involves handmade crafts and demonstrations, Pirate Invasion weekend with the competitive Pirate Costume Contest and the ever-popular Celtic weekend, which closes out the festival with kilts and bagpipes galore.

The Tennessee Renaissance Festival will be open until Monday, May 29th. You can check out a list of vendors, artisans, events, prices and even the daily entertainment schedule here.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Wesley McIntyre, email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

For more updates, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter/Instagram at @Sidelines_Life.

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