Ever wondered what it would be like to spend a day in the 16th century? Does watching Game of Thrones have you wishing you could step into Westeros? Have you been dreaming of dressing up in a costume and day drinking to your heart’s content without having to wait until Carnival season? If the answer to any of those questions is “yes,” or even “maybe?” the Louisiana Renaissance Festival is the place for you! Every November, 16 acres in Hammond, LA (a little over an hour from New Orleans) is transformed into the Village of Albright, a Renaissance era English settlement featuring more than 600 artisans, entertainers, and demonstrators. History not your thing? Fear not! Think of Ren Fest as “a festival, theme park, theatre, shopping destination, and educational experience, all rolled into one great adventure”! Read on to hear about all the Fest has to offer, and check out their website for all the details and full schedule. The Louisiana Renaissance Festival is open every weekend November 3- December 9 from 9:45 am- dusk.
Ren Fest Shows
The best deal at Ren Fest is the entertainment value, as your entry fee includes free admission to all shows. Held throughout the day on numerous stages, you can watch everything from belly dancing to Shakespeare. Some highlights include the not-so-proper ladies of Chaste Treasure and the Washing Well Wenches, as well as performances by Haggis Rampant Bagpipes & Drums. Don’t miss the Falconry Show or the Jousting- where else can you see armored guys on horses riding at each other with giant lances right in front of you?!
Ren Fest Drink
Ale? Mead? Mixed Drinks? Whatever quenches your thirst, Ren Fest has a drink for you at one of the numerous pubs throughout the grounds. If you’re looking to mix entertainment and drinking, try one of the Ren Fest Tasting Shows. Craft Beer, Bourbon, Mead, Rum, Wine, and Whiskey all get their own Tasting Experience where the audience is educated on ancient brewing techniques, and of course get plenty of samples. (Tickets sold separately). Not a big drinker? There’s also Royal High Tea and Meal at noon, or Tea and Crumpets at one, both with Queen Elizabeth I herself. Just looking for a beverage without the show? Check out the Root Beer Bar at Piper’s Pub, or try the hot and iced tea at the East India Tea Company.
Ren Fest Food
Seventeen vendors at food courts around the Ren Fest ensure you won’t go hungry. There’s plenty of typical fair food like hot dogs, hamburgers, and nachos, but also some surprises, too. Sir Chutem’s Cajun Seafood Trap has all of your Cajun favorites. Da Vinci Snow Cone specializes in human-powered cones (they didn’t have electricity back in the day, after all). Try a pickle-on-a-stick from Crescent City Pickle Company, and the falafel at Mediterranean Grille. Of course you can’t go wrong with the Ren Fest classic: a giant, dragon-sized turkey leg. The dessert choices are just as varied as the snacks and entrees. Try the kettle corn at Kettle Gourmet, and for something really special, get a dozen doughnuts at Dave’s Mini Donuts. With flavors like S’mores, Bacon Maple, and Chocolate Thunder, you can’t go wrong. Plus, your first mini donut is free!
Ren Fest Shops
Just like a bazaar or marketplace from days long past, you can find a booth for virtually anything among the hundred at the LA Ren Fest. If you don’t come in costume, you can quickly get suited up at Flying Cloud Costume Rental. If you’re looking to take something home with you, there are numerous options, including kilts at A Roguish Highlander, corsets at Casta Diva Clothiers, and handmade boots at Earthwalkers. Going for a fantasy-inspired look? Get yourself horns and a tail at Spare Parts. No look is truly complete until you head over to Immortal Arms for a sword or mace, or for the budget-conscious, Adventure Armory and Hollow Earth Swordworks offer wooden versions. You can even rent a wagon from Stone Wheel and Wagon Shoppe to carry around your day’s haul.
#FrayLife Tip: Buy a drinking horn from King of Cups and drink your ale all day like a true Renaissance Man (or Woman! Or Person!)
Ren Fest Themes
Each weekend of Ren Fest features a different theme, and encourages visitors to dress the part!
Nov 3 & 4: Mask Weekend
Nov 10 & 11: Heroes & Pirates Weekend
Nov 17 & 18: Celtic Weekend
Nov 23, 24, & 25: Time Travelers & Family Weekend
Dec 1 & 2: Romance Weekend
Dec 8 & 9: Fireworks Finale Weekend
Even though you’ll be in the days of yore, we know you’ll be taking lots of selfies. So don’t forget to tag us #FrayLife and #NOLAFray!
View More Articles By Katie Baer