This year we decided to spend our Labor Day wandering the streets of “Hollygrove” in a last ditch effort to squeeze a little more fun out of our summer vacation. Yes that’s right, the Ren Fest has come to town.
Beginning mid-August and running every weekend straight through to the end of September, the Michigan Renaissance Festival is an event you just have to experience for yourself. The crowds, the costumes, the shopping, the shouting …yes there is A LOT of shouting at the Ren Fest… and of course the shows.
I tend to make it to the festival every couple years but my kids have been there almost every year with their mother. This year I was fortunate enough to get to be the one who takes them. The ticket price is pretty steep but there are always plenty of discounted tickets around if you know where to look. I actually snagged a sweet 50% off deal from the CBS Detroit Local Offers page about a month ago so I definitely couldn’t pass that up.
Beyond the ticket price you will find plenty of opportunities to part ways with your money. Hollygrove is like a big medieval mall where the streets are lined with vendors selling dragons, fairies, swords, and armor. If it falls into the realm of knights and fantasy u will undoubtedly find someone who has it …for a price. There are rides and games of skill, great food around every corner, and performers always willing to accept a tip.
However, there is much to do that is free (beyond the ticket price) in the form of live entertainment. Everywhere you look there is a street performer or a vendor shouting out into the crowds. There are a number of stages throughout the fairgrounds so you will have no problems catching several shows although I would say it’s probably difficult to catch them all as there are so many.
The boys got sucked into the games and rides …I mean who wouldn’t when they come right up to you and address you personally right? They’re fairly inexpensive but I wasn’t planning to blow a whole lotta money so I steered them away from the money stuff so we could sit back and enjoy all that was free. The “Acrobellum” acrobat show was especially a big hit with them because it is …well …it’s pretty amazing stuff.
We squeezed ourselves a little spot in a muddy corner to watch the joust. The boys got into the spirit of things cheering for our champion and “booing” all the rivals. We didn’t catch the whole show, however, because we had no seats and eventually the boys grew tired of standing so we went off in search of other entertainment.
We finished off the day with a bang catching the Ded Bob Sho which is always a favorite! I plan on returning again this year with the GF before the festival is over. She has never been to it and it’s an experience I want to share with her. And also, we co-write a blog together called The Adventurers and it simply isn’t an adventure without her by my side.