This year has been extremely different when it comes to festivals. Due to COVID-19, we aren’t able to walk around the State Fair or the Renaissance festival. Instead, both festivals ended up doing a parade, allowing people to drive their cars through the grounds and experience the fun of them still. The Renaissance Festival was able to improve the parade function, while the State Fair had the food stands extremely close with very little entertainment it left you feeling very full and not able to eat the rest of the food you planned on. For the Ren Fest, you drove through the whole grounds and not just down a few streets. Most of the food was very well spread out so you had time to eat the food you had gotten previously.
When first pulling up to the normal parking spots of the Renaissance Festival, you go to the time slot that you have signed up for. You wait in a line while a truck comes to lead you into the grounds, you are giving a gift bag with tic-tac-toe, some pictures to color, and a bingo card for the kids to be entertained. You are given a map of the grounds menu to start planning out what foods you are going to get. The menu also shows you the order of the food stands. For any Renaissance fan who has gone to the Festival before, seeing all of the shops closed up with tarps, wood doors, and metal gates really makes the experience that much more real that you aren’t getting all the shops you would normally get to explore. However, on the drive, some of the vendors are on the route so your child can still get the wood sword or the “twirling sticks” as I liked to call them!
When ordering food at the Renaissance festival, they give you the option of getting some of the food to-go! They put warm food in tin-foil then put them in containers. Unfortunately, some of the food was cold due to the weather. At the very beginning of the parade, most of the food was nice and warm but since it was cold and the experience took about 1-2 hours, the food did get cold at the end. The workers made sure that the people experiencing the parade still had fun; the pickle boys still danced and acted crazy like they normally do, and the other workers kept in character and made the environment the same as it normally is. Lastly, they had music and performers throughout the parade, that was the one thing that was missing at the State Fair. They had maybe one or two performers, while at the Ren fest you had singers, musicians, the feast of fantasy, jugglers, and more!
If you love the Renaissance Festival, I do recommend going to the parade. It is enjoyable, and you can still hit a few shops at the end and get mugs to remember The Year of The Plague as said by the gauntlet you can buy before you leave! They have extended the parade weekends for a few more. Have fun, and as always, be safe!