30th Annual Carolina Renaissance Festival

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Jousting knights on horseback, fantastic falconry, fairies, dragons, and feasting! So much excitement, all live, and you are a part of it. The colors, the sounds, the buildings, and the atmosphere draw you into another time and place. Action, music, dance, and entertainment take place all around you as you walk down the streets of the village, and over 500 costumed characters interact with you.

Two knights in silver armor, one on a black horse and one on a brown horse, meet with joust lances. Tne on the brown horse has a large red feather in his helmet and a red blanket on his horse. The other has a black feather and blanket. A wooden gate is in front of them, and a large crowd is behind them. Renaissance buildings can be seen in the background. Another rider is watching in the background on a black and white horse.
Two knights joust as the audience roars. Each hopes to knock the other off their horse with their lance and win the Queen’s favor. The crowd is cheering for their favorite knight. The knights will race back and forth at each other until one is the winner.
Photo courtesy of Carolina Renaissance Festival

When Is The Carolina Renaissance Festival?

The Carolina Renaissance Festival is underway, and tickets are selling quickly. The festival is held September 30th through November 19th on Saturdays and Sundays, 9:30 am- 5:30 pm, rain or shine.

The Artisan Market

The Artisan Market houses 140 vendors, some blowing glass or cobbling shoes, others selling fine jewelry or arts and crafts. There are fortune tellers and psychics, those selling dragons and fairies, lotions and potions, clothing and leatherwork, and swords and axes. There is something for everyone in the marketplace.

The Jousting Tournament

The Queen’s knights joust three times a day, so be sure to schedule your time at the festival to catch one of the tournaments. It is exciting to cheer on your knight as they charge at each other on their stampeding horses with their jousting lance extended. You learn about jousting, too. Check schedules for times of shows.

Games And Rides

The festival is full of games of skill and rides for the entire family. It is important to note there is an additional charge for these games, rides, and attractions. You will find Da Vinci’s Flying Machine, a camel to ride, a climb-a-lot tower, a petting zoo, and much more. Generally, prices range between $2 and $7.

The Art Of Falconry

A large brown hawk swooping over an audience seated below it as it's trainer stands watching on a stage in front of a pink castle at the Carolina Renaissance Festival
The falconry show at the Carolina Renaissance Festival is thrilling as the birds of prey swoop down low above the audience, flying from trainer to trainer.
Photo courtesy of Carolina Renaissance Festival

You will want to attend the falconry show as large birds of prey swoop back and forth just over your head. They are majestic birds and perform impressively. It is difficult not to oh and ah in amazement during the show. It is also almost impossible not to duck as they fly overhead. You will learn the history of falconry as you watch the birds’ and trainers’ abilities. Check schedules for times of shows.

See The Living Mermaids

Your child will love visiting the Shire’s grotto, where the Living Mermaids reside. They will enchant you with their grace and beauty. And make your little ones’ dream come true as they watch them move and play underwater.

Join The Feast

What is a festival without a feast? There is plenty to choose from to eat at the Renaissance Festival, including, of course, the giant turkey legs. They have sausage on a stick, chicken on a stick, meatball subs, portabella mushroom sandwich, bread bowls with meatballs and marinara, broccoli and cheese, chili, and clam chowder. They also have gluten-free choices, steak on a stake, fried rice with teriyaki chicken, chopped salad, fish and chips, BBQ pork ribs, and much more – as well as beer, soda, and coffee.


  • $32 for Adults 13 and up; Sales tax included; Date specific
  • $20 for Children 5-12; Sales tax included; Date specific
  • Children 4 and under free
  • Buy tickets online

Important Festival Facts

  • The Festival is located at 16445 Poplar Tent Road, Huntersville, NC. It is recommended not to use GPS services like Google and Apple Maps but to print driving directions.
  • The Festival runs Saturday and Sunday, September 30 – November 19, 2023
  • The hours are 9:30 am-5:30 pm, rain or shine
  • Parking is free
  • Pets are not permitted
  • Costumes may be worn
  • Check the schedules to plan what events you want to see so you don’t miss any
  • For More Information

Step Back In Time In Winston-Salem

The Carolina Renaissance Festival takes you back to Medieval times, but we have our own transport back to another era in history right here in our city, Old Salem. If you have never taken a tour of the town, be sure to read our article about the history of Old Salem to gain some information. It might pique your interest enough to consider a tour something you want to do in the future.

If you have experienced a Renaissance Festival, what did you enjoy most? Tell us in the comments.

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