Huzzah and Cheers for the 39th Annual Michigan Renaissance Festival

The Michigan Renaissance Festival Is Back and Celebrating 39 Years of Family Fun

The 2017 Michigan Renaissance Festival once again sends guests back to the 16th century. This is that one time of year where southeast Michigan residents can dress up as elves, knights, faeries, and princesses and go to the Village of Hollygrove. This made-up land, on the border of Holly and Groveland Township, is ready to go with new attractions, as well as time-tested favorites.

Michigan Renaissance Festival 2017

Michigan Renaissance Festival 2017

The Michigan Renaissance Festival was first held in 1979 in Clarkston. That inaugural Festival featured renaissance dancing, archery contests, jugglers, mimes and madrigals. It attracted 11,000 patrons during its 5-weekend event. As attendance to the event grew, so did the number of artisans, demonstrations, entertainers, and foods.

The show has continued to develop fans throughout the years, offering more each year in entertainment, education, food, and art. Now seeing the more than 250,000 fans a year, the Festival has provided opportunities for fans to escape from this realm and journey into a time when Kings and Queens rule, and Mermaids and Fairies are more than just a dream.

Beat the crowds and arrive early, they open at 10:00 a.m. with free parking. Upon entering the gates, you will be handed a program of the day’s events. Check the times and locations of the shows you want to see and then set off to explore the 15-acres of entertainment, shops, and food.

READ: Dear Crabby, Do I Have to Dress Up to Enjoy the Michigan Renaissance Festival

Get Dressed up for the Michigan Renaissance Festival - photo by Michael Dwyer

Get Dressed up for the Michigan Renaissance Festival – photo by Michael Dwyer

New for 2017

  • Merlin’s Magic Quest – Discover the festival through new eyes as patrons join in our interactive, all-day Adventure Quest. Follow clues, solve puzzles, and engage in battles of wits. Experience comedy, danger, and the mystical while meeting people to enhance the festival experience. Join the Quest to bring magic back to Hollygrove with the help of nobles and scoundrels alike.
  • Throne of Swords Pub – Wander beyond the Wall, through The Seven Kingdoms, and sit on the ominous Throne of Swords while sipping on cocktails in the all-new Throne of Swords pub.
  • Live Unicorn – Meet a magical unicorn and the chance to capture a photo. Be awed by an amazing mythical creature.
  • Obstacle Course – Visitors may go to the Valley of Aberdare to test their strength, balance, and coordination on the all-new obstacle course. The bravest and most noble knights will have to overcome a series of obstacles in order to be dubbed worthy of the round table.
  • Bloody Mary Bar – Sweet or savory, visit The Pickled Onion to try out some of these all-new Festival Creations.

READ: Win Michigan Renaissance Festival Tickets from Rochester Media

Grab a Bite, Sip a Pint, Shop the Shops

Many food and drink items are available. Most liked are the turkey drumsticks cooked over an open flame and the soup in a bread bowl. If you like Celtic music and better beer, stop at the Guinness Pub. It’s located in the center of the village behind the castle and it is the local hot spot of the festival grounds. Relax, take a break from the sun and enjoy the sounds of the many musicians scheduled at the pub. If the beverages catch up with you, the restrooms are called “Privies,” and are available in several spots around the festival grounds.

Sonya Julie of Oxford gets her palm read at the Michigan Renaissance Festival - photo by Michael Dwyer

Sonya Julie of Oxford gets her palm read at the Michigan Renaissance Festival – photo by Michael Dwyer

Between stage shows, you may pass time by visiting the nearly 200 merchants. All sorts of wonderful items are available including renaissance period merchandise. There is clothing, jewelry, crafts and even swords for sale.

For a more interactive experience with the festival, you may want to have your hair braided, get a Henna tattoo, or have your face painted, in addition, enjoy a message or have your palm read.

Shaded by large trees with a castle-themed play structure, the “Children’s Realm” offers free activities for younger visitors. Festivalgoers that are more active may hop on one of the human-powered rides or visit the games area.

2017 Theme Weekends and Activities 

  • Royal Pet and Ale Fest – August 19 & 20- Pet Vendors, Pet Rescues, Weiner Dog Races, Pet Costume Contest and Diving Dogs
  • Highland Fling – August 26 & 27 – Highland Heavy Games, Men in Kilts Competition, Scottish Dancers, Keg Toss and Scottish Market
  • High Seas Adventure – September 2, 3, & 4 – Beard Competition, Tattoo Competition, Pirate Costume Contest, Knights on Bikes Discount
  • Wonders of the World – September 9 & 10 – Belly Dancing Championships, Dr. Who Costume Contest, Steampunk Invasion, Steampunk Costume Contest, Time Traveler’s Ball and Deaf Awareness Weekend
  • Shamrocks and Shenanigans – September 16 & 17 – Irish Heavy Games, Celtic Market, Men in Kilts, Flint Scottish Pipe Band
  • Harvest Huzzah – September 23 & 24 – BBQ Festival, BBQ Championships, Archery Competition and Harvest Market
  • Sweet Endings – September 29 & 30, October 1- Chocolate Festival, Shakespeare Stage Takeover, Fencing Championships and Wedding Wars
The Queen Knights this Little Lady at the Michigan Renaissance Festival - photo by Michael Dwyer

The Queen Knights this Little Lady at the Michigan Renaissance Festival – photo by Michael Dwyer

The Michigan Renaissance Festival’s 39th season begins on August 19, 2017 and ends on October 1, 2017. The Festival is open weekends, Labor Day, and Festival Friday (September 29, 2017) from 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. rain or shine.

Admission at the gate: Adults $22.95; Children 5-12 $13.95; four and under are free. Discount tickets are available at participating Kroger, Walgreens, Goodwill, and Menards stores or online at Call 800-601-4848 for more information.


About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at

Speak Your Mind