The Student Newspaper of Catawba College

Halloween Weekend at the Renaissance Festival

Megan Varnadore, Lifestyles Editor/Writer

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Looking for something fun to do this weekend?  Why not take a trip to the Annual North Carolina Renaissance Festival and Artisan Marketplace?  Buy your tickets at any Harris Teeter beforehand to get $1 off and then make your way to Huntersville, NC.

I have lived in North Carolina my entire life, but until my freshman year here at Catawba, I had never heard of the Renaissance Festival.  We decided to go this year and for my first time there, it was Halloween weekend, appropriately deemed “Halloween Daze and Spooky Knights.”

When we arrived there, only 10 minutes had passed since it opened for the day and already there was a field of parked cars and a sea of people pushing to get in.  Fortunately, my friends and I purchased our tickets at Harris Teeter before leaving and didn’t have to wait in line.  We gave our tickets to the lady at the gate and set off on our journey throughout the maze of booths and entertainment stages.

Immediately after entering, I needed a quick break and much to my surprise, the bathrooms (which were simply port-a-potties) were called “privies.”  I found myself looking around for a restroom sign and when I asked my friend where the restrooms were I was given this information and discovered that it was right in front of me.  My lesson for you is that if you are planning on going to a genuine renaissance festival, learn and know the vocabulary that will be used.

As it was Halloween weekend and in good holiday spirit, we decided to dress in costumes.  Ryan Kelly and I went as Jack Skellington and Sally Stitch.  We were well received, as we got many compliments on our costumes. We were told by a festival worker that we should enter the costume contest, and Jack was also mentioned in the Don Juan and Miguel show.  About a dozen people asked to take pictures with us.  Our friends went as renaissance people and many others were dressed up as well.  There was a couple dressed as regal vampires.

The smell coming from the food court was divine and overwhelming.  The food purveyors served everything from cakes and ale to beef stew in a bread bowl.  In addition to that, the artisans offered a variety of renaissance-style clothing, leather-bound books, brooms, drinking horns, weapons, jewelry, armor and art.  In case you’re wondering, yes, the vendors do sell battle-ready weapons and you can carry them around in the festival, under the condition that they are peace-tied.  So, if you’re looking to expand your weapons collection, this may be your paradise.  However, be prepared for the price, as one sword I glanced at had a price of $1000.

Also, among the vendors were palm readers, artists, family genealogy tracers, massager’s, body art and the Hounds of East Fairhaven, who are dedicated to finding greyhounds good forever homes.

We went to many of the shows, including Don Juan and Miguel and The Tortuga Twins. Both are considered “Loose Cannon” shows, meaning that they are rated PG-13 and adult supervision is advised.  I strongly recommend going to see both of these shows.  They are very good and we actually had the privilege to meet Miguel before his show. He was a pleasure to talk with.

Later that afternoon, our party split for a short while.  Half of us went to see the last joust of the day and the other half went to the costume contest.  Jack and I entered and though we didn’t win, we had a lot of fun and got the opportunity to see some awesome costumes.  Among our competitors were the queen from the recent Snow White movie and the Wicked Witch of the West from Wicked, the Broadway musical.

All in all, my first time at the Renaissance Festival was a wonderful experience and I will be going back next year.  It definitely has a little of everything and is not something you want to miss.

The next weekends are a Pirate’s Christmas, November 10-11th, and the Final Huzzah, November 17-18th.  They will be open from 10-5:30 pm.  Here is the link to their website:

The festival is located at 16445 Poplar Tent Rd. Huntersville, NC, 28078.

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The Student Newspaper of Catawba College
Halloween Weekend at the Renaissance Festival