The Carolina Renaissance Festival is an annual Renaissance fair that takes place in North Carolina. It is held at a multi-acre venue between the towns of Concord and Huntersville. During the festival, the site is transformed into a 16th-century European village called “Fairhaven.”
Over 200,000 people visit the fair every season. One of the main attractions is the jousting matches put on by a stunt group called Aventail Productions. These take place three times a day with the actors performing for packed crowds. Other highlights are the entertainment acts, falconry shows, and acrobatics. One of the newer additions is a Mermaid exhibit with performers dressed up as mermaids swimming around in a massive water tank.
Multiple stages are set up throughout the venue where dance acts, live music, and comedy shows are staged. Auditions are held every year to recruit people from surrounding towns for the in-house performance company. These actors fill the roles of the numerous costumed characters that live in the “Village.” Various street performers will be present throughout the grounds engaging guests and creating a fun, interactive environment.
Tickets can be purchased online or at select stores in the region. Passes purchased in advance cost around $25 for adults and $15 for kids between the ages of 5 and 12. Younger children can enter for free. Tickets are slightly more expensive when bought at the gate. If you make your purchase online, you’ll need to carry a print out of your pass or download it onto your phone.
Discounted passes are available for senior citizens and active military personnel. For more information on tickets and schedules, take a look at the Carolina Renaissance Festival website.
The Carolina Renfest is about 30 minutes away from the City of Charlotte, North Carolina. The venue is on Highway NC-73 at the midway point between the towns of Huntersville and Concord. It lies in the middle of Interstates 77 and 85. There are two driveway entries through which you can access the grounds. The primary one is one Poplar Tent Road. The other entrance is on Davidson-Concord Road.
Free parking is available to all guests via the fair parking lots. Patrons who get there at the beginning of the day will be able to park closer to the attractions. Accessible parking spots are available for patrons with disabilities. These are located close to the entrances and are allotted on a first-come, first-serve basis.
If you’re not driving, the best way to get to the fairgrounds is by taking a taxi or using a ride-hailing service. There are designated drop off and pick up points for patrons taking taxis and other small vehicle private transportation. Another option may be to gather with other guests staying at your campsite and carpool to the fair.
You will not be able to park overnight or camp in your RV or motorhome on the Carolina Renfest grounds. Only festival participants will be able to camp on site. Fortunately, there are several other great RV parks in the area.
If you’d like to stay at an RV campground near the fair, there are several to choose from in the Huntersville area. The closest site with full-hookups is about ten miles away. Many of the other options are close to the Charlotte Motor Speedway, due the popularity of the races held there. If you’re willing to drive a bit further away, the Lake Norman State Park is a great option.
Wagons, wheelchairs, and strollers are welcome, and these can also be rented at the entrance. The Carolina Renaissance Festival takes place in a wooded, outdoor setting. While there are plenty of pathways connecting different parts of the site, much of the terrain is natural. However, the ground is firmly packed, so it’s usually navigable by wheelchair.
Festival attendees are encouraged to get into the spirit of the event by coming dressed in period costumes. Both child and adult costumes are available for rent at the entrance as well. Prop weapons that are a part of your outfit are allowed as long as they are properly sheathed, blunted, and peace-tied according to Carolina Renaissance Festival regulations.
Make sure your motorhome is loaded with travel essentials like flashlights, blankets, and snacks. On the day of the fair, consider carrying a small bag packed with necessary items like sunscreen and bug spray. One factory-sealed water bottle is allowed per guest. Musical instruments and firearms are not permitted on the grounds.
The festival takes place outdoors in a forested setting. So when you’re walking around enjoying the food and entertainment, be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen, sunglasses, heavy-duty bug spray, and a hat. Check the first aid kit in your RV to see if it is up to date before starting on your trip.
Relaxing around the fire with a hot meal is the perfect way to end to a day of fun activities at the Carolina Renaissance Festival. Stock your refrigerator with sandwich fillings, milk, fruits, and snacks before heading to your campsite. This way you won’t need to depend on a small camp store or go looking for one after you have set up your rig.
Although Huntersville is small in size, it has a thriving culinary scene. There are a couple of restaurants that are worth checking out when you're in the area. So head to one of these for a nice dinner or night out together. There are some excellent breakfast and brunch spots, as well.
The variety of food on offer is one of the highlights of the Carolina Renfest. Guests can take their pick from a wide range of fair eats like cinnamon rolls, caramel apples, crepes, turkey legs, and sweet potato fries. Alcoholic drinks will be available for sale at the pubs and beer carts.
Safety Services Personnel will be present at the front entrance and will also be making rounds. They will be conducting bag and belonging checks. Any prop weapons must be handed over to them for inspection at the gate and cleared before they are allowed into the Carolina Renaissance Festival. Firearms of any kind are strictly prohibited.
Guests are often greeted with sunny skies and warm weather. It can get quite cold at night, so carry blankets and warm clothing. A little rain is not likely to affect the proceedings. If the weather turns unexpectedly severe, the fair may be closed for the day. On such rare occasions, refunds may be issued according to fair guidelines.
In the case of a medical emergency, patrons can contact the closest staff member. They will direct you to the first aid station or get in touch with medical personnel. Alternatively, head to the nearest food concession booth and ask them to radio for help. Portable restrooms, including ADA compliant ones, can be found throughout the grounds. Medical care and drug store services are as close as Interstate 77 to the west of the festival.