The annual Renaissance Festival in Holly, Michigan runs from the second weekend in August to the end of September. The turreted gates of the authentically recreated 1600 century village known as Hollygrove will be open every weekend and on Labor Day.
The Michigan Renaissance Festival features hundreds of costumed entertainers, rides, games, comedy shows, full contact jousting, and a festive marketplace featuring approximately 200 different shops. Every weekend showcases a renaissance era theme:
Weekend One- Italian Carnival
Featuring Italian food, wine tastings, grape stomping, and pizza dough tossing.
Weekend Two- Wine, Romance & Song
Featuring wine tastings, roving minstrels, romantic music, and a whining contest.
Weekend Three- Highland Fling
Featuring traditional Scottish music and dance, the Highland Games Competition, and a junior caber toss for kids.
Weekend Four- High Seas Adventure
Featuring the Swab the Deck Game, a pirates treasure hunt for kids, a beer fest, and food tasting.
Weekend Five- Wonders of the World
Featuring International dancers, cultural celebrations, and a belly dance competition just for men.
Weekend Six- Shamrocks & Shenanigans
Featuring traditional Irish music and dance, cabbage bowling, and a shamrock search for kids.
Weekend Seven- Sweet Endings
Featuring a Chocolate Festival, a pie eating contest, and a fudge flinging competition.
Every weekend, visitors are entertained by musicians, dancers, sword swallowers, comedians, sword fighters, and more. Merchants line the paths within the many-acred Hollygrove, selling a combination of handmade wares and medieval themed goods. A large amount of food and drink is also available, from turkey legs and mead to gourmet pizzas and wine. The “Magical Children’s Realm” is the perfect spot for kids and adults who want to take part in a variety of games and rides.
As much fun as all of that is, the best part of the festival is the atmosphere. The entertainers stay in costume and character throughout the day, often shouting greetings to festival-goers as they pass by. Many festival-goers themselves are so enthusiastic, they dress up in renaissance costumes as well.
For less that $20.00 you can get admitted into the park for a full day of renaissance fun. The festival also offers special limited seating opportunities for visitors seeking the ultimate experience. For an additional $10.00, guests can attend a tea party with the Festival Queen and her Ladies of the Royal Court. For those looking for a less refined experience, Renaissance Smoker tickets are available, also an additional $10.00. These tickets permit visitors to enjoy world class cigars, premium beer, snacks, and bawdy entertainment. (Must be 21 to attend.) Finally, guests can also purchase Feast of Fantasy tickets. These tickets are $70.00 and include admission to the park, as well as a six course gourmet feast, unlimited drinks, two hours of entertainment within the festival’s village castle, and a souvenir goblet.
The Renaissance Festival also offers romance. Couples can bring their family and friends and get married at the festival in a Garden Gazebo Ceremony. Afterwards, the Queen’s chef will prepare a delicious feast complete with a wedding cake for the wedding’s guests. Kegs of beer, champagne, and wine are also available.
Many of the nearby hotels and campgrounds offer Renaissance Packages for festival-goers. The packages usually include festival admission, accommodations, and complimentary breakfasts. Check the festival’s website www.michrenfest.com for more information.