Review of Kentucky Renaissance Festival in Eminence, KY
After seeing the Kentucky Renaissance Festival advertised year after year and wondering whether it was worth visiting, this year I did a little research and decided to take my family for a day trip. My 7 year old daughter loves fairies and history. I looked at some of the pictures online and decided that this might be a great adventure for her.
The Kentucky Renaissance Festival is located in Eminence, in Henry County, an easy 45 minutes from Louisville. The Festival is well marked and easy to find. As you approach the festival grounds, signs let you know that you are being transported to Scotland during the 14th century. Parking was easy and the entrance to the festival close by. Before entering the castle like gate into the main square you need to purchase tickets (you can also buy online). The price is $10 for adults and $5 for children(online). A weekend pass is also available for a little more. With your tickets, you are given a map and schedule of events. There is an unbelievable amount to see- the schedule was very helpful for us to plan our day. As you pass the castle gate, you are immediately transported into a bustling Medieval town, full of interesting characters (knights, wizards, squires, ladies and jesters) and many small stores selling clothes, jewelry, wands, offering face painting, hair styling and so much more). Everyone was in character and very warm and welcoming, particularly to the children to whom they gave magical stones and trinkets.
The Town is divided into different areas. To the right of the main town you find Faewood, the dwelling of the Faeries of Faewood. We spent quite a bit of time in this area, watching the mischievous antics of the fairies during the Faerie tea, participating in a scavenger hunt, and the Faery naming ceremony in which the children are giving wings, a fairy name, and a certificate proclaiming them to be part of the Fae community. To the left side of the town, there is a children’s area, which is comprised of a play area with a slide, some carnival games, a sand pit and multiple stage areas. In this area, our children were treated to a magic show, a puppet show, and a penny flute lesson. My son, who is 3 enjoyed the shows and thoroughly enjoyed the play area, my daughter enjoyed participating in the flute lesson. At the end of the flute lesson, the children marched through the woods and found themselves in front of the King’s banquet. The King welcomed them in front of good size crowd and asked them to play a song. The children we applauded with a loud “Huzzah” and told to keep their flute (they were also given a CD of music) and encouraged to keep on learning.
The Town Inn sells food (hamburgers, chicken tenders, but also scotch eggs, fish and chips, and Shepherd’s pie, cheese plates and other options) and beer. The food was a little pricey, and the quality not overwhelming, although the scotch eggs were particularly good! The best part of eating here was the live entertainment- pub singing and sing a longs happen all day long.
Around town, you will also find stages where actors are performing plays- we particularly enjoyed the “Nuttin’ but Mud” play and would love to return to see some of the other ones. There is so much to see here, it’s hard to see it all in a day. We caught a glimpse of the Maypole and the Royal parade, but the highlight of the day was the Joust. The atmosphere of the Joust was thrilling and we were all impressed by the knights and their spectacle.
We left at the end of a wonderful day. It was magical and so much fun for the whole family. One day however was not enough and we plan to return before the end of the season so that we can enjoy some of the other events. The festival runs from the end of May through the early July annually. You can find more information on their website: http://www.kyrenfaire.com/
By guest contributor: Jennifer