Hear ye, hear ye! Summertime in Larkspur, Colorado is the time of year when a festival, celebrating the transition from the Middle Ages to the Age of Discovery, rules the land between Colorado Springs and Denver. The Renaissance, a period in history that celebrated the rebirth of an economy and the beginning of an artistic movement, propelled Europe from the medieval Dark Ages to an era where everything began to flourish again. Renaissance festivals all over the country still celebrate this important event in history by creating an event for all ages that brings visitors back in time by allowing all guests to dress up, eat food, and watch performances.
An event like the Colorado Renaissance Festival is the perfect excuse to pack up the RV and escape the heat from other parts of the state or country. Larkspur is located just north of Colorado Springs, Colorado, the launching point for some of the best camping in the state. Plan to spend one full day in Larkspur either coming or going to your next camping destination and experience the festival that people talk about all year.
The Colorado Renaissance Festival is an event celebrating over 40 years of entertainment. Some people come to experience the food like turkey legs or steak on a stake, and some people enjoy the handicrafts, face painting, and elephant rides. Whatever brings you to the festival, you are sure to love taking a step back in history to become a member of the Renaissance, even if it is for only a day or two. Huzzah!
The organizers of the Colorado Renaissance Festival want everyone, no matter the age, to come to Larkspur to enjoy the event without price getting in the way of fun. Each year, discount tickets are offered to the public from different area sponsors. There is also age-discounted pricing available. In the past years, full-priced tickets have ranged from $11 to $24.
The easiest route to get to Larkspur from most major cities along Colorado's Front Range is to take 1-25 north or south. On the busiest weekends of the festival, Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) implements detours and alternate driving routes. For the most up to date traffic information during the Renaissance Festival, follow CDOT on Twitter or online. Highway 105 is an alternative route, but the two-lane road becomes congested during peak traffic times, and lower speed limits and train crossing may slow your commute.
Parking at the Colorado Renaissance Festival is free, and the parking lot accommodates oversized vehicles such as motorhomes and RVs. All parking is first-come, first-served, so people with larger vehicles should arrive early to ensure there is space for parking and maneuvering. On the weekends, the festival is one of the area's main draws, so the parking lot becomes full early. If you are concerned about moving through the parking lot in a large vehicle, consider leaving your RV or motorhome at your campground.
The town of Larkspur is approximately 32 miles north of Colorado Springs and about 41 miles south of Castle Rock, Colorado. Larkspur is small, making transportation from the larger cities nearby challenging. If you need to take public transportation to the event, consider a rideshare or taxi or private car service. Once you get to the parking lot, a free shuttle will take you from the parking lot to the front gate.
The Colorado Renaissance Festival is an event that permits parking of RVs and motorhomes during the festival's hours of business. At the close of business, all vehicles must vacate the premises. There are RV parks located near the town of Larkspur that will allow for a quick drive to and from the event, so consider staying at one of the nearby RV parks to make your commute a quick one.
People who prefer full-service camping with amenities such as hookups, a dump station, and sites for larger rigs are in luck. There are a few RV parks with resort-style facilities within 15 miles of the venue. If you don't mind a longer drive, or you plan to make the Colorado Renaissance Festival a stop along your road trip, venture south to Colorado Springs or north to the Denver area. Near these communities, you will have several state parks, such as St. Vrain State Park and Chatfield State Park, as well as smaller camping options that may suit your camping style to set up camp for the night.
Once you arrive at the parking lot, a shuttle will transport you to and from the parking area to the front gates. After you pass the front gate, you will get from one place to the next on foot. Guests who require ADA services should contact a member of the staff for information on accessibility. Visit the information booth located just inside the front gate for assistance.
Part of a Renaissance fair experience is becoming the characters that lived during the Middle Ages. When preparing for your trip to the Colorado Renaissance Festival, save room in your RV closet for your best royalty, peasant, knight, or creature costumes. If you don't have a costume, don't show up dressed in shorts and flip flops, instead, rent an outfit from the festival's rental shop. Daggers and swords were part of everyday attire for some people in the Middle Ages; your peace-tied daggers and swords are permitted as long as you make your medieval weaponry known at the Main Gate.
Attending the Colorado Renaissance Festival as a destination along your RV vacation is the perfect way to combine two exciting summer activities into one. The best gear for the festival is your accessories. Gather up your best drinking chalices and your jeweled goblets to add the perfect finishing touch to your festival costumes by dressing the part from top to bottom.
The best gear to bring for your RV vacation to Colorado is outdoor gear. Colorado summers are generally warm during the day and cooler at night. Chilly evenings call for campfires and s' mores, so pack your folding chairs, s' mores sticks, as well as the things you will need to roast marshmallows over a wood or propane fire.
The Colorado Renaissance Festival takes place in a large open field that can become dusty and dry if there isn't any rain for a day or two. If dust bothers your allergies, pack extra tissues as well as some allergy medicine to take beforehand. You will spend the day walking, so bring supplies to help tired feet and legs feel better at the end of the night. As with any RV trip, it's always a good idea to pack a first aid kit to help with little unexpected injuries or illnesses.
When planning an RV vacation, one of the things to account for when packing your rig, is the hookups that will be available at your site. Full-hookup sites allow RVers to use electricity, making the food choices much as you'd eat from home. For quick meals with less mess, consider packing an electric skillet. An electric skillet doesn't warm up the rig like an oven or propane stovetop might, and you can cook everything from fried eggs to spaghetti in a skillet.
After spending the day at the Renaissance Festival, perhaps you are ready to sit down at a restaurant and have a meal with your family. To have a home-cooked meal, stop by one of the local restaurants in Larkspur, many of which are owned and operated by families who live in town. While Larkspur is small, there are several food choices within a two-mile drive of the festival.
Bring your appetites with you as well as plenty of cash. While you may pay with a card to get into the festival, if you want turkey legs or a cold brew (served by beer gals of the day), you will have to pay the old-fashioned way. The vendors at the Renaissance Festival offer food and beverage choices that are medieval, but there are also plenty of modern-food options on hand. Aside from food and drinks, don't forget to visit the artisan vendor area.
Even though era-appropriate weaponry is permitted inside of the festival (if it is zip-tied for non-removal), all guests should feel comfortable knowing that safety is a top priority for every person who attends the event. Please make sure your costumes meet the safety requirements to enter the festival. All people are subject to search before entering the main festival grounds.
Guests attending the Colorado Renaissance Festival should come prepared for hot weather. High temperatures are often near 85°, and the high elevation often makes it feel even warmer outside. Because so many festival attendees wear medieval clothing, the long, thick fabric may make you feel even more heated. Come prepared with a change of clothing if you are concerned about temperatures. The great thing about visiting Colorado in the summer is that even though you may be hot during the day, the evenings cool off nicely.
Should you feel a little out of sorts during your trip to the Colorado Renaissance Festival, visit the onsite first-aid center for assistance finding the medical care you need to feel better. The cities of Castle Rock, Monument, and Colorado Springs are the closest cities with hospitals and clinics, and each city has medical care facilities and pharmacies if you need care the first-aid clinic can't provide.