This past week, the kids and I had the privilege of attending the Texas Renaissance Festival in Todd Mission, TX. Spending all of Saturday there we were thrilled with the sites and entertainment surrounding us. The food was amazing, and very well priced for a festival! Average cost of a full meal for one was under $10 which I consider to be reasonable when out at an event such as this! The costumes were gorgeous, the people extremely friendly and the day was perfect. We were able to rent a stroller for Emmet as well. As he is only 3 we realized he might not make it walking all day, so this was perfect.
The festival was founded in 1974 by George Coulam and his brother David Coulam on an abandoned strip mining site in what is now Todd Mission, Texas. At the time, it spanned fifteen acres, with three stages featuring small improv theatre groups, and merchants selling their goods on blankets. The opening year saw a turn-out of 33,000. As of 2017, the Festival features about 500 costumed performers on 25 stages. Its on-site shops include: international food choices; unique artisans; merchants and craft vendors; human-powered rides; an abundance of performers walking among the guests; and the Queen’s Royal Finale (fireworks if weather permits) at dusk. We missed the fireworks unfortunately, but after all the fun we were okay with that! The fair hosts over half a million visitors annually.
There is onsite camping as well with the grounds having expanded to 55 acres of Festival and over 200 in parking and camping!
During the season the Festival boasts themed weekends. This past weekend was the Celtic Christmas theme and there were plenty of Santas and Father Christmas characters attending! We were amazed at the quality of the costumes. Lola has decided we are putting our sewing skills to use for next year. Watch out TRF!
Each of the nine weekends of the festival take on a different theme, influencing the performances, costumes, food, drink, art, shops, contests, and games throughout the festival grounds.
Oktoberfest – German theme, including polka music and dancing, and the serving of traditional German beer.
1001 Dreams – Fantasy theme, encouraging lavish costumes of wizards, fairies, and elves and including several fantastical contests, such as scavenger hunts and costume contests.
All Hallows Eve – Medieval Halloween theme, including spooky decorations and contests, such as jack-o-lantern carving contests, to celebrate the holiday.
Pirate Adventure – Pirate theme, encouraging pirate costumes and including several sea-related games and contests.
Roman Bacchanal – Roman theme, encouraging Roman costumes and hosting several Roman-themed contests and games such as toga contests and spaghetti eating contests.
Barbarian Invasion – Medieval Barbarian theme, encouraging costumes of medieval barbarians and including “barbaric” contests such as the “Barbarian Battle Cry” contest and eating contests.
Heroes and Villains – Iconic figures of the past come to life.
Highland Fling – Scottish theme, encouraging traditional Scottish costumes and including bagpipe-playing and traditional Scottish food and drink.
Celtic Christmas – Christmas theme, including Christmas decorations and music, and featuring Christmas-themed contests such as “Candy Cane Hunt” and “Guess the Present” contests.
If you are looking for a fun and unique experience for your family, I highly suggest attending Ren Fest next year! We will definitely be there!