For those that love the Florida Renaissance Festival as much as I do, you will be delighted to hear that a seventh themed weekend has been added to celebrate its 24th year. Returning to Deerfield Beach’s Quiet Waters Park, there is so much new stuff to look forward to this year, included the festivals theme this year “Renaissance Around the World.” Festival attendees will be able to travel back to the 16th Century making stops in the Orient, Ireland and more over the course of the seven themed weekends starting February 13th through March 27th.
Always keeping things fresh, this year attendees will have the opportunity to witness the Caroline Williams’ Liberty Horse Act, an eighth generation equestrian dynasty. Everyone’s favorite couple, The Duelists, are back with their comedy and sword fighting act to bring laughter throughout. As you walk through the festival, be sure to say hello to The Cobblestone Characters who will be up to their usual silly antics throughout the day.
Come one, come all to The Florida Renaissance Festival. There is fun for everyone from the wee little ones to the not so wee big ones. There will be music, story telling, food (lots of food), shows, and just great family time.
“Being able to take people on an elaborate, visual, interactive journey back in time is what drives us every year as we plan our annual festival,” said Bobby Rodriguez, Founder of the Florida Renaissance Festival. “There is no other place in Florida where you’ll find jousting knights, regal ladies, swashbucklers and Vikings mixing with modern-day hipsters, fantasy lovers, history buffs and families.”
Visitors are encouraged to come dressed the part. Don’t have the wardrobe? Fret not, lots of costumes and accessories can be purchased from the many craft posts throughout the festival. Majestic timeless goods likes blown glass, wooden toys and hammered pewter can also be found in the village to be taken home as souvenirs. We still have items we bought a few years ago like dragon pens and sword necklaces. Each year we purchase another keepsake to remember our visit by. Last year Em received a necklace with fairy dust, its her favorite necklace EVER.
Bring your appetites, food will be available in abundance. From ale and cider to quench your thirst to turkey legs and Queen’s buns to fill your bellies you are sure to find some festival favorites to satisfy your cravings.
Magicians and sword fighters and knights on horseback, oh my! Rides for kids? They’ve got you covered. Shows for the family? They’ve got that too! Have some fun with the bulls-eye as you take a shot at archery (hubby’s favorite) or test your strength and show off that medieval magic that makes all the wenches swoon.
After it’s very successful launch last year, the Florida Renaissance Festival Pub Crawl is back! Parents can take turns doing the Pub Crawl since it leaves twice daily from the Info booth at the main entrance at 1pm and 3:30pm. Deciding who will go first will be your biggest issue. For just $25pp you get 5 ice-cold beers and all the questionable behavior you can handle. Participants must be 21 or over with a valid I.D. Sign-up to join at the Box Office or Souvenir Booth.
While I am sad to report that Wenches Weekend is no more, I am really excited for the new weekends that have been added, like the Carnivale Masquerade – who doesn’t love a beautifully designed mask to hide behind? I’ll definitely be looking for a handmade one to buy at the craft posts.
2016 Florida Renaissance Festival Theme weekends:
- Swashbucklers & Sirens Weekend– February 13 and 15 – Shiver Me Timbers! This Pirate-themed weekend unearths the mysteries of the sea as sirens lure sailors and pirates alike with their enchanting music and voices leaving those who dare to listen shipwrecked! Prepare yourselves for a “salty” good time! Open President’s Day, February 15th.
- Vikings and Valkyries – February 20 – 21: Enter the mythical world of Valhalla where Valkyries rule over fallen warriors. These powerful war goddesses can stand toe-to-toe with the huge, bearded barbarians in animal fur tunics and horned helmets that we call Vikings. Only the strongest and most courageous warriors will survive this weekend!
- Fantasy and Adventure – February 26- 28: Adventurers from lands near and far bring myriad works of magic, imagination and fantasy to this weekend’s events. Enter a world where dragons fly, wizards cast spells and mystical characters come to life. If you can imagine it, then this is the weekend where it can actually happen!
- Voyage to the Orient – March 5 – 6: On the heels of a successful introduction last year, this Orient-themed weekend is making its second appearance in the Florida Renaissance Festival. This weekend brings us to the Far East to experience the sights and sounds of Shogun, Samurai, and the unbroken Ming dynasty that ruled China for almost 300 years.
- Kilts & Colleens – St Patrick’s Weekend – March 12 – 13: Kilt is what happened to the last person who called it a skirt! Celebrate the luck of the Irish with Scottish and Celtic traditions – bagpipes a’blarin’ – during this uniquely themed weekend.
- Time Travelers’ Weekend – March 19 – 20: Delorians here! This weekend is dedicated to adventurers across the millennia. Bring your brassies Victorian “gears” and join us for “Steampunk Saturday.” On Sunday, the village opens itself up to time traveling pioneers, aliens, Browncoats, Federations and Empires.
- Carnivale Masquerade – March 26 – 27 (Easter weekend): Let Winter wane and bring in the Spring with a fête to rival all others during our final weekend! During our Carnivale Masquerade weekend, unleash your inhibitions behind the anonymity of delicately detailed masks, historic costumes and intriguing disguises! Feel free to act outside the bounds of identity and everyday convention, discover mystery and enchantment, and add an element of mischief that will make this Easter one to remember!
Over two million people have attended the festival in the last two decades creating everlasting family memories. It is a true cultural learning experience for all ages. Based on life during the 16th Century you will find over 100 costumed performers, 12 stages with continuous entertainment and 20 stage acts from around the world.
We’ve not only attended in earlier years as a family but have also visited the festival for school trips with J-bird. I am so excited to have been invited back again this year and to take the girls again. I can’t wait to stop by the craft tables to see all the new goodies and let the girls pick out some handmade goods to remember our visit by.
Pricing is as follows: Adults $21, Children 6-11 $9, Children 5 and under are FREE. Season passes (these will get you special perks) and group tickets are also available at discounted rates. There is a $1.50/pp park entrance fee charged by Broward County Parks. Once inside parking is free; however, VIP (and highly recommended, especially on busy days – which happens to be all the time!) front of the line parking is available for an extra $15 (discounted for season pass holders). Senior Citizens age 65 and older and Military in uniform have the option to purchase discount tickets at the gate box office with appropriate I.D. and credentials. New this year, stop by your local Walgreens for discount tickets!
Gates to the Florida Renaissance Festival open at 10am beginning February 13th and the festivities run until sundown every weekend (including, Monday February 15th, President’s Day) until March 27th. Download the festival mobile app for iOS or Android. You can learn more and purchase tickets your Ren Fest tickets by visiting the official website. Prefer to speak to a wench? Call them at 1-800-3-REN-FES.
Have you ever attended a Renaissance Festival? What did you like best about renaissance festivals? Do you have a favorite weekend you’d like to visit during?