Huzzah and cheers for 40 years

Photo courtesy of the Michigan Renaissance Festival The 40th annual Michigan Renaissance Festival is open weekends from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 18 to Sept. 30, plus Labor Day Sept. 3, and Sept. 28 in the festival’s final weekend of the year.

Photo courtesy of the Michigan Renaissance Festival
The 40th annual Michigan Renaissance Festival is open weekends from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 18 to Sept. 30, plus Labor Day Sept. 3, and Sept. 28 in the festival’s final weekend of the year.

HOLLY — The Michigan Renaissance Festival is back and celebrating 40 years of family fun. From small beginnings at Columbierre, to one of Michigan’s finest regional attractions.

The Michigan Renaissance Festival was first held in 1979 in Clarkston. This inaugural festival featured renaissance dancing, archery contests, jugglers, mimes and madrigals. The Renaissance Festival attracted 11,000 patrons during its five-weekend run.

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 280,000 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.

Featured for 2018:

All New! Battle Axe Pub: Have a drink, and enjoy the pub community all while battling your friends in axe throwing. The Battle Axe pub will have four lanes, so grab your friends and see who can do it best.

The Quest: Triumph of the Elements: Discover the festival through new eyes as you join in the interactive, all-day Adventure Quest. You will follow clues, solve puzzles and engage in battles of wits. Experience comedy, danger, and the mystical while meeting people to enhance your festival experience.

Everything Unicorn: Meet a magical unicorn, feast upon the biggest cake in the land with eight layers – all of which are different colors, cure your sweet tooth with unicorn poop, a unicorn bubble float, and a unicorn sundae.
Bow Blast: Compete in the daily archery tournament with a chance to compete in the bow blast tournament. Shoot at balloons and outshoot your opponents to win tickets to come back again
Pig ‘N’ Swig: Bacon, Bourbon, and Whiskey: Enjoy samplings of different whiskey’s and bourbons each paired with gourmet bacon appetizers to tantalize your taste buds.

2018 Theme Weekends and Activities:

Royal Pet and Ale Fest, Aug. 18 and 19: Dogs are free, Pet Vendors, Pet Rescues, Wiener Dog Races, Pet Costume Contest, Ugliest Dog Contest, and Pet Demonstrations.

Highland Fling, Aug. 25 and 26: Highland Heavy Games, Men in Kilts Competition, Scottish Dancers, Keg Toss, Scottish Market, and after hours Band Blowout.
High Seas Adventure, Sept. 1 to 3: Beard Competition, Tattoo Competition, Pirate Costume Contest, Knights on Bikes Discount.

Wonders of the World, Sept. 8 and 9: Belly Dancing Championships, Dr. Who Costume Contest, Steampunk Invasion, Steampunk Costume Contest.

Shamrocks and Shenanigans, Sept. 15 and 16: Irish Heavy Games, Celtic Market, Men in Kilts, Flint Scottish Pipe Band, Deaf Awareness Weekend.

Harvest Huzzah, Sept. 22 and 23: BBQ Festival, BBQ Championships, Archery Competition and Harvest Market.

Sweet Endings, September 28 to 30: Chocolate Festival, Shakespeare Stage Takeover, Fencing Championships and Wedding Wars.

The festival is open weekends and Labor Day, plus Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. rain or shine. Parking is free.
Admission is $23.95 for adults, $14.95 for children ages 5 to 12, and free for ages 4 and under. Discount tickets are available at participating Kroger, Goodwill and Menards stores or online at www.MichRenFest.com.