The Carolina Renaissance Festival, one of the largest Renaissance-themed events in the country, is back to spread cheer for eight festive weekends, Oct. 5 through Nov. 24.
Here's what you need to know before you go:
Make a day of it. With 14 stages of music and comedy, faire games and rides, artisan demos and jousting tournaments, there's a lot to see and do, so grab a schedule when you enter the gates or print one here.
The festival is an outdoor event so dress accordingly. Plan to get in plenty of steps the day you go, too. The village alone covers 25 acres, complete with castles, cottages, amphitheaters and a marketplace. Check out a map of the village here.
Costumes are welcome. Come dressed up or rent a costume at the festival. Adult sizes range in price from $18 to $65 and child sizes range from $8 to $25.
There are a lot of themed weekend and special events such as Brewfest, Halloween Daze & Spooky Knights and Pirates' Christmas. Check out the schedule here.
Be ready to feast like royalty on bread bowl stews, meats on sticks, turkey legs, gourmet sausages, sweet and savory crepes, caramel apples, cakes and more. Craft beer, wine, champagne, mimosas and lots of non-alcoholic drinks are also available for purchase. See a list of food and drinks here.
Pro tip: You are allowed to bring in one unopened (factory sealed) bottle of water per person, but no other outside food or drink is permitted.
Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, and the event happens rain or shine.
The festival is held at 16445 Popular Tent Road, which is north of Charlotte between Concord and Huntersville (between I-77 and I-85). Parking is free.
Buy your tickets in advance and save $1. Advance tickets cost $25 for adults and $15 for kids ages 5-12. Advance tickets can be purchased at Harris Teeter stores or online here. Children ages 4 and younger are admitted free. Tickets purchased at the gate cost $1 more.
For more information, go to carolina.renfestinfo.com.
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