For eight weekends a year, the Renaissance era is brought back to life in the Centennial State, complete with lords, ladies and jousting. The Colorado Renaissance Festival, an annual state tradition is an almost authentic recreation of Medieval times and a family fun place to spend a Saturday or Sunday in the months of June and July. Voted the Best Family Festival in Colorado by Colorado Parent Magazine, the Renaissance Festival offers something for patrons young and old.
The setting at the Colorado Renaissance Festival will truly make you feel as though you have been transported back in time. The festival is held inside of a large stone castle, a permanent fixture in the town of Larkspur. The shopping area is reminiscent of a Medieval bazaar, with shops and kiosks lining a dirt road.
All employees and artisans are required to dress and act the part, so corseted women and men in tights are quite literally everywhere. Many of the employees get into the full spirit, and adopt the language and accent of the times. Visitors are welcome to dress up, and several shops at the festival even rent out costumes for the day. A festival king and queen are also present at the fair, and can be seen parading around the grounds throughout the day or sitting on their thrones during the daily jousting match.
The shopping at the Colorado Renaissance Festival is a truly unique experience, as everything available for sale is hand crafted by local artisans. Wooden swords, hand-sewn corsets, blow glass ornaments and flowered crowns are only a few examples of items for sale at the festival, and the selection is different every year as new artisans join the festival to sell their wares. When going to the Colorado Renaissance Festival, be aware that many of the items for sale are relatively expensive, as they are truly one-of-a-kind and labor costs are factored into their pricing.
A number of food stalls are available throughout the festival, allowing you to get a real taste of Medieval inspired foods. From roasted turkey legs to decadent fudge, the Colorado Renaissance Festival has something to satisfy anyone during a long day of shopping and taking in the scenery in the heat.
There are several daily shows at the Colorado Renaissance Festival, put on my humorous and talented local actors. Puke and Snot is a favored entertainment duo, as is the performance put on by Captain Jack Sparrow. There are a variety of miniature ampitheatrers throughout the festival, allowing you to pick and choose which show best suits your sense of humor.
In addition to the performances, there is a museum of Medieval torture that you can tour, as well as many games and competitions including rock climbing and dart throwing. There are also several amusement rides for children, as well as camel and elephant rides for guests of all ages.
The main event at the Colorado Renaissance Festival, however, is the joust. The joust features a number of “knights” on horse back, replicating a Medieval joust to the death for the king and queen’s entertainment. While the knights are actors and no one is actually harmed during the daily joust, it is still highly entertaining and a must-see while visiting the fair.
The Renaissance Festival has a different theme every weekend, and the themes seem to change annually. Past themes have included a “lover’s weekend” celebrating love, a “family weekend” celebrating the younger patrons of the fair, and a “Mardi Gras Carnival” to celebrate the park’s closing weekend.
Colorado Renaissance Festival
650 West Perry Park Avenue