The Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival is a Renaissance-themed fair that takes place in West Newton, Pennsylvania every year. It promises fun for the entire family and runs for six consecutive weekends in summer.
Several stages are set up all over the sizeable multi-acre venue. It is transformed into a fictional village called "Morelandshire" during the reign of King Henry VIII. Actors dressed up as the king and his subjects perform in the stage shows and also interact with the crowds.
Each weekend is given a different theme to ensure that every day offers a unique experience to guests. Some of these well-loved themes like “Pirate Invasion,” and “Oktoberfest” are brought back every year. Special entertainment groups and performance artists are recruited to put on unique shows for guests. Actors will also entertain crowds with incredible sword fights and thrilling jousts on horseback.
Visitors can wander through the grounds taking in everything the festival has to offer like the street performers, delicious fair food, and artisans selling handcrafted goods. Attendees may also be treated to impromptu encounters with famous historical figures who lived during the era, including King Henry himself.
Passes are available at a discount if purchased online in advance. General Admission tickets cost around $20 for adults and about $10 for children between the ages of 5 and 12. In the past, entry has been free for children younger than five years. Your pass is valid for a single day can be used for admission on any date of the fair.
You also have the option of buying your tickets at the front gate, although these tend to be more expensive. Discounts are offered for bulk purchases. Tickets are non-transferable, and no refunds will be given. Take a look at the event website for more information on passes and pricing.
The venue is a 40-minute drive from downtown Pittsburgh. The nearest town is New Stanton which is about 6 miles away. You’ll need to drive along I-70 until you reach Exit 51A. There will be signs to guide you to the fairgrounds. You can find detailed directions as well as information on road alerts on the festival’s website and social media pages.
Free parking is available at the large lot on the fairgrounds. Shuttles will be ferrying guests back and forth between the parking lot and the entrance all day. Handicap accessible parking spaces located close to the front gate will be available for patrons with disabilities. To avoid the traffic and crowds, consider parking your rig at your campsite and traveling to the fair using another mode of transportation.
Public transportation options may not go as far out of the Pittsburgh city limits as you would need to reach the festival grounds. You can get to the venue by taxi or using a ride-hailing app. The manager of your campsite may also suggest options for reaching Pittsburgh RenFest. You may also be able to meet up with other campers and carpool to the event. Some local hotels may offer shuttles to the fair.
Camping or overnight parking is not available at Pittsburgh RenFest. Campsites and RV parks in the area tend to get booked up fast, especially during peak season. So reserve your spot well in advance.
The nearest RV campground is less than five miles away from the venue and comes with facilities like full-hookups, pool access, and Wifi. There are plenty of other well-equipped options within a 20-mile radius. The surrounding areas are quite scenic, and you can enjoy activities like hiking, birdwatching, cycling, and swimming at many of the campsites.
While the fair takes place in a natural, outdoor setting, there are plenty of gravel and hard-packed earth pathways. These are accessible by wheelchair. But some parts of the site can become hard to navigate, especially if it rains. Motorized wheelchairs and recommended and patrons may bring strollers for children.
Costumes are encouraged, but you’re welcome to come dressed in lightweight summer clothing like shorts and t-shirts. Costumes for kids and adults can be rented close to the front gate. Costume weapons must be peace-tied and sheathed according to the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival's guidelines. While masks are permitted, those that cover your face completely must be avoided.
Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are a must since you’re going to be exposed to the elements all day. Other items that can come in handy are hand sanitizer, bug spray, and a portable charger. If you plan on enjoying activities like hiking and swimming at your campsite, make sure you pack good shoes and water gear.
The fairgrounds are likely to be crowded, so stay close to your group and designate a common meeting point. Keep your energy up by drinking plenty of fluids and eating at regular intervals. Smoking is permitted only in designated areas. Pets, except for trained service animals, will not be allowed.
Ask your camp manager about the RV camping rules before lighting a fire. Many of the campgrounds have convenience stores on site, so you should be able to pick up essentials like firewood. Due to tree care in the region, firewood from a local source may be required. It’s a good idea to pack some snacks and ready to eat meals before starting on your trip in case you’re not able to find all the brands you’re used to at the store.
There are several charming family-run restaurants and quaint bars in West Newton. If you’re looking for something quick, on the go, you can grab a slice of pizza or a salad at one of the fast-food joints. Visitors can also enjoy some fresh baked goods at the top-notch bakeries in town.
In-house chefs will take care of all the food and drinks served at the fair. There will be designated zones where delicious treats are sold. Don’t miss out on fair favorites like turkey legs, kettle corn, and soup bowls. A range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks will be on offer as well. In fact, one of the themed weekends is dedicated to celebrating all things wine.
Security officers will check bags and belongings before entry. Outside food and beverages are not allowed. Costume weapons like swords and daggers must be presented at the front gate for inspection. Festival staff will assist you with securing them, if necessary. Firearms of any kind are strictly prohibited.
Typically, the climate is warm and sunny with some occasional showers. Rain ponchos will be available for purchase at some of the stalls. It’s a good idea to carry your own to avoid wasting time standing in line. In case the weather turns unexpectedly severe, the fair may be closed for the day. No refunds will be entertained.
There will be an easy to spot first aid station on site staffed with trained EMTs. Portable restrooms, including accessible facilities, will be available throughout the grounds. Medically necessary items will be allowed in after an inspection at the front gate. Fair organizers can be contacted directly for any queries or requests regarding the accessibility of the venue.