The Arizona Renaissance Festival, located just outside of Apache Junction, in Gold Canyon Arizona, is the event that many history enthusiasts wait all year to attend. The festival, celebrating over thirty years of entertainment, takes visitors back to a period known for its religious enlightenment, art, as well as the rebirth of the European economy. The Renaissance Festival brings guests on a journey to experience this transitional period between the Middle Ages to the Age of Discovery.
Festival-goers have the opportunity to attend the event for one day, or if the Renaissance Festival is something you wait all year for, there is a season pass available for multiple visits. The location of the festival is somewhat isolated, but the event takes place in the heart of the Greater Metropolitan Phoenix area's East Valley, a section of the city known for its hiking, camping, as well as its gold-mining roots. Instead of visiting the hub for outdoor adventure by staying in a hotel, why not ramp up your experience by combining an RV vacation with the Renaissance Festival?
The Arizona Renaissance Festival takes place when much of the country is still covered in snow. Arizona's mild temperatures and sunny skies combined with the festival's food and entertainment make it the ideal time of year to plan an RV escape. It's the perfect opportunity to beat the winter blues. Pack your rig with your most exquisite costumes and head to the event where everyone is treated like royalty. Huzzah!
It's possible to take a trip back in time at the Arizona Renaissance Festival. Attendees may purchase general admission tickets for an adult or child or visit the festival multiple times by purchasing an adult or child season pass. Tickets may be purchased online or at any valley Fry's locations. In the past years, full-priced ticket prices have ranged from $17 to $180.
The Arizona Renaissance Festival is located seven miles east of Apache Junction, just off US-60 in the Greater Metropolitan Phoenix's area's East Valley. The East Valley portions of US-60, frequently called the Superstition Freeway, offers drivers multiple lanes for non-stop driving through the City of Apache Junction. Heading eastbound, once drivers pass through Apache Junction, the freeway portion of US-60 ends the highway portion of US-60 begins.
Most drivers heading to the festival from different valley locations will access the Superstition Freeway using either I-10, Loop 101, or Loop 202, all of which are major roadways within the Phoenix Area. Some routes may also bring you through the Tonto National Forest to the northeast. There are no toll roads in the Greater Metropolitan Phoenix Area, but drivers should be cautious using HOV, or carpool lanes, during peak driving times.
Hear ye, hear ye, let the people of the land know that parking is free! Oversize vehicle parking may be available during the festival. It's best to contact a member of Guest Services if you have specific questions about parking since the availability varies from year to year. The spacious parking lot fills up quickly; guests who want an up-front parking spot fit for a king or queen should arrive early to avoid a long walk to the entrance.
Unfortunately, arriving at the festival with pomp and circumstance and your own chauffeur isn't an easy task. Because of the festival's location, most public transportation won't transport you to the Renaissance Festival, unless you choose to take a rideshare or taxi. People taking rideshares and taxis should inquire about pick up and delivery to the venue because the festival takes place outside of the city limits.
While there isn't onsite camping at the Arizona Renaissance Festival, there are plenty of places to camp with your RV near the venue. The East Valley rests on the outskirts of town, and the area is known for its camping, recreation, and adventure.
Since there isn't onsite camping at the Arizona Renaissance Festival, festival-goers should find a place to camp nearby. Arizona has state parks and regional parks that give campers a feeling of staying in the desert, but with many of the comforts of home. Most of the state parks are located on the outskirts of the city. For large RV sites with both primitive camping sites and electrical camping site, book your Arizona camping adventure at Lost Dutchman State Park. If you prefer modern amenities, and you like the feel of RV parks, consider staying at the Mesa /Apache Junction KOA.
Wear your most comfortable shoes because walking is the favorite mode of transportation at the festival. For guests who need mobility assistance, motorized scooters and wheelchairs are available for rent, as are wagons and strollers for parents who want to tote weary children. If you feel tired from walking all day, give your feet a rest and hail one of the cabriolet carts to experience the festival from the comfort of a seated spot. Bring cash with you, because the cabriolet cart drivers fuel their carts with tips.
Part of stepping back in time is embodying the lifestyle of the people who lived during the Renaissance. Pack clothing reminiscent of the Middle Ages. It's customary to dress the part at the Arizona Renaissance Festival, and people come in different attire representing all classes of people living from the 14th to the 17th century. The festival does not discriminate; peasants, knights, lords, and ladies are all welcome.
When packing the RV for a trip to Arizona, plan to bring the necessary items for both the camping portion of your getaway as well as your visit to the Renaissance Festival. Pack your RV with camping essentials such as camping chairs, an outdoor grill, a small cooler, and an outdoor rug.
When you pack for the festival, you will want to bring items that will help you feel comfortable. Bring hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, as well as comfortable footwear and something to protect you from the elements. If you are dressing in costume, pack your favorite goblets, costumed swords, and royal headwear.
When traveling in an RV, it is always a good idea to pack a first-aid kit with items such as bandages, antibiotic ointment, and ice packs. Aside from a medical kit, you will want to have plenty of sunscreen for your skin and lips as well as a hat to protect your face if the day turns out hot. If dust bothers you, bring a bandana to cover your face when the wind picks up.
Even though you will likely fill up on food at the festival, you will need to pack plenty of food for your travel days. A blend of ready-to-eat foods that require little preparation makes it easy to eat without worrying about electricity or a method to cook your meals. Sandwiches, chips, crackers, and fruit, or even meat and cheese trays are simple meals to bring on an RV trip.
The food at the Renaissance Festival is delicious and filling, but if you find yourself feeling hungry after wandering about the events, Apache Junction has locally-owned restaurants worth trying out. If you like Mexican food, you are in luck. Mexican food in Arizona is worth eating every day. If you prefer the tastes of home, Apache Junction has many of the restaurants you'd find across the country.
Come to the Arizona Renaissance Festival with an empty stomach because the medieval fare is too tempting to try just one taste. Food on a stick and finger foods are a festival's favorite feasts, but other food vendors provide choices for guests who prefer to eat with a fork and knife. Like most Renaissance Festivals, the serving gals offer up tasty beverages that are both alcoholic and nonalcoholic, so there are drinks for all ages.
The street vendors and artisans are also too good to miss. After filling your stomach with turkey legs, walk to the handcrafted area to see all of the items for sale. Perhaps if you are lucky enough, you might be able to find a new sword or crown for next year's Renaissance Festival.
The kingdom's people will feel safe and secure during their trip back in time as only ticketed guests are permitted past the main entrance. If you are coming in costume and you have a sword or dagger, ensure your weapon is appropriately sheathed and peace-tied. Security staff checks all weapons for safety and may ask to look through your bags or strollers. So you don't have to leave something behind, be sure to check the website for a current list of prohibited items.
Arizona's weather transforms from February to March, moving from the cooler and wet temperatures of the winter to the more pleasant days of spring. While daytime temperatures range between 70 and 75 degrees, it's not uncommon to have a much warmer day. Arizona residents and natives still consider temperatures in the mid-70s chilly, but out of town guests might think the winter temperatures feel warm.
Thankfully, patrons of the Arizona Renaissance Festival won't contract a sickness like the Black Death or consumption. If you do feel ill during your visit to the festival, you will feel confident knowing that the medical care outside of the festival's gates isn't like the medical care found during the Dark Ages. Several pharmacies are within a six-mile drive, and medical centers and hospitals are as close as 12 miles away.