The Scarborough Renaissance Festival is a renaissance fair that takes place in Waxahachie, Texas. Often simply referred to as Scarborough Fair, the event features multiple stages with over 200 performances.
The fair first took place in 1981. Since its inception, it has been owned and organized by two local families. It is inspired by the Renaissance period, particularly the 16th century. The festival is typically held on weekends in April and May, coming to a close on Memorial Day. Guests are encouraged to get into the spirit of the event by dressing up in period costumes.
Most of the cast members and fair staff are volunteers who generously devote their time to the event. There are special “Student Days” which aim to educate and inspire children from schools in the area. The venue is spread out over 165 acres, with all the festivities taking place within 35 acres.
In addition to the stage performances, there are also jousting shows, daily falconry demonstrations, and other forms of entertainment. Skilled artisans demonstrate candle making, glassblowing, blacksmithing, leather crafting, armor making, printing, and other old arts. Guests can also enjoy exploring over 200 shops selling handmade soaps, musical instruments, jewelry, and many other handicrafts.
There are different ticket options available like one-day tickets, two-day passes, and Friend of the Faire Memberships. They range in price from just under $30 (Advance One Day Ticket) to around $150 (Friend of the Faire Membership). A Membership is valid on all days of the event and includes perks like premier parking, discounts on souvenirs, exclusive gathering areas, and many others.
Discounted group tickets are available for parties of 15 and above. Tickets are required for children between the ages of 5 to 12. Younger kids can enter for free. Take a look at the event website for more information on tickets and pricing.
The fair takes place just west of the City of Waxahachie, Texas, which is just under 35 miles away from Dallas via I-35E. Once you hit exit 399B, you’ll need to drive about 1.6 miles west on FM66 till you reach the venue. Before starting on your trip, call 511 to check if any road alerts have been issued in Waxahachie or other parts of Ellis County.
Free parking is available at the venue. If you’re driving to the site, plan on getting there early to nab a spot close to the performance areas. If you arrive late, you’ll need to walk quite a bit to get to the shops and stages. Accessible parking spots will be available for patrons with disabilities.
Since the fair takes place on the outskirts of Waxahachie, you may not find many buses that will get you directly there. Check if your campsite offers shuttle services on festival weekends. You may also be able to catch up with other fairgoers staying there and carpool with them to the event.
Onsite camping is not available at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival. Organizers often work with local campsites to provide information on their website for fans who plan to camp in the area while attending the events.
While camping on the festival site is not allowed, you’ll find some well-equipped campgrounds within a 25-mile radius. These come with facilities like full hookups, WiFi and are accessible with a large RV. An excellent place to stay during the event is the town of Mansfield which is a mere 30-minute drive away.
The terrain is flat and easy to navigate on foot. Download the festival map provided on the website and use this to find your way around. Most parts of the site are handicap accessible. Electric scooters, wheelchairs, and wagons can be rented at the front gate. You can also rent these in advance.
It’s not only the performers who dress up in Renaissance-inspired attire. Many festival-goers choose to go all out in elaborate period costumes. These are available for rent near the front gate. Of course, you can also go dressed in simple warm-weather attire like t-shirts, shorts, and jeans.
Carry a small bag with sunscreen, bug spray, binoculars, sunglasses, a portable charger, and a hat. If you plan on trying some of the delicious food on offer, wet wipes and hand sanitizer can come in handy. If you’re interested in photography, be sure to take your camera and participate in the “ Tournament of Images,” a photo contest.
In keeping with the theme of the event, there will be interestingly shaped sculptural water fountains all over the grounds. Restrooms called “Privies” will be easy to locate. Use the water stations to fill up your bottle and stay hydrated. If you lose something during the festival, you can head to the information station near the exit gate.
Outside food and drinks are not allowed into the venue. But you will be able to prepare meals at your chosen campsite. Make sure you stock up on fuel for your RV stove and other supplies in the city before heading to your camp for the night. It’s a good idea to carry staples like bread, sandwich fillings, ready-to-eat meals, and packaged snacks. Limited grocery options are available in the community of Waxahachie should you need to replenish your cupboards while in the area.
Many of the popular fast food and restaurant chains have outlets in Waxahachie. You can head to one of these if you’re in the mood for a quick bite. If you’re interested in more regional flavors, there is some excellent southern food to dine on within a 20-minute drive. There are a few great Mexican restaurants as well.
Food will be sold at stands as well as by roaming vendors. Most of the food stalls will be located at the Crown Kitchens, which will function as a food court. Be sure to try the fair’s signature turkey legs, which are bestsellers every year. There will also be other delicious snacks, desserts, and plenty of vegan and vegetarian food on offer.
Teams of uniformed officers with radios will patrol the venue. There will also be several plainclothes officers among the crowd. If you need assistance, you can flag down the closest staff member. Alternatively head to one of the food booths or pubs, since all the vendors have radios which they can use to contact security.
The weather is often warm and sunny during the spring as the Scarborough Renaissance Festival takes place. Weather updates will be posted regularly on the festival’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. If it does rain, patrons will be able to buy umbrellas and rain gear at the souvenir shops.
There will be a centrally located first aid station. Trained medical staff will be on hand to provide emergency assistance. The festival staff members and security officers will be able to point you in the right direction or radio for help. ADA assistance and support will also be available at the first aid station. Emergency medical services and pharmacy resources are available within Waxahachie, about a 15-minute drive from the festival site.