Michigan Renaissance Festival 2012

Travel back in time to the 16th century again at this year’s Michigan Renaissance Festival in Holly, MI. Patrons are welcome to dress up in renaissance attire and they are encouraged to play along with the staff and performers. Practice your British or French accent as you meet new people. You’ll see elves, faeries, knights, princesses and other characters, some strange and unusual, and others lavish and recognizable.

Arrive early – beat the crowds – and enjoy the entire day. Take a program from one of the many gatekeepers welcoming you in. Check the times of what performances you want to see and plan your day. There are themed stages of comedy, music and theater shows with continuous entertainment flowing through the streets of the 15-acre “Village of Hollygrove.” 

Popular shows are the Ded Bob Show, Ample and Trite, and The Bocca Show. Become a “Bob Zombie” at the Ded Bob Show, (PG-13) it’s a crowd pleaser, always the same show, but hilarious. Ample and Trite are very funny with several different shows held each day. This comedy duo is local but they are well known around the country. Audience participation enhances the show and creates a fun and unique performance every time you see them. The Bocca Show (PG-13) is also very funny but is NOT family friendly.

Other crowd favorites are the Washing Well Wenches and the full contact joust. The joust is complete with armored knights on horseback. Witness them battle it out several times a day. Pounding hooves and the crack of breaking lances echo in your ears – it is very intense – be there early to get a good seat.       

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.       

Several new shows come to life this year including Merbellas Live Mermaids (go only if the line is short), The Living Tree and Splatter Time Players Mud Show. Also new this year is the Princess Court, the Fairy Garden and Cupcake Wars.       

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.       

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

One of the highlights to the festival is the Feast of Fantasy. It’s a six course meal with beer, wine and live entertainment. Attendees receive a limited edition ceramic goblet to take home. It’s $55 per person in addition to the entrance fee to the festival. It’s fun, the food is good and runs nearly three hours. So build in time before or after to see the rest of the festival. Runs Sundays only, starting at 12:30 p.m. 

If You Go:
The village of “Hollygrove” is located in Holly, Michigan
Dixie Highway between Pontiac and Flint I-75
Grand Blanc exit 106
Follow the signs
Parking is FREE

Michigan Renaissance Festival Website


Special Themed Weekends:

Highland Fling: August 25 & 26
US Canadian Highland Heavy Games
Celtic Village
Beer Tasting
Men in Kilts Competition
High Seas Adventure: September 1, 2 & 3
Wine & Beer Tasting
Pillage Village
Tattoo Competition
Perfect Pirate
Wonders of the World: September 8 & 9
Deaf Awareness Weekend
Wine Tasting
World Market
Grape Stomp
Festival Friday: September 14
Join us for the only Friday the Festival is open
Shamrocks & Shenanigans: September 15 & 16
US Canadian Highland Heavy Games
Celtic Village
BBQ Competition
BBQ Vendors
Wine Tasting
Arm Wrestling Competition
Harvest Huzzah: September 22 & 23
Harvest Market
Wine Tasting
6th Annual Michigan State Royal Archery Tournament
Beer Baron Brewing Brawl
Sweet Endings: September 29 & 30
12th Annual Chocolate Festival
Wine Tasting
NEW – Queen’s Cupcake Wars
En Garde and Touche
Grape Stomp
Fudge Fling
Gate Prices
Adults: $20.95
Children: $11.95
Ages 4 and under are always FREE

Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at Michael@RochesterMedia.com

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 michael@rochestermedia.com.

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