The Renaissance Festival, in true medieval fashion, has kept its show alive despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Families have until Oct. 18 to make it to the first-ever Festival On Parade, which is the pandemic-safe version of this year’s canceled Renaissance Festival. Drivers can go one way through the 2.5-mile route through the fairgrounds, which Renaissance Festival spokesperson Stephanie Whipps said lasts about two-and-a-half hours, each weekend.
Tickets for the parade cost $20 per car for specific time slots, and guests can purchase food and memorabilia from their vehicles at various vendors throughout the route. Tickets must be purchased ahead of time.
“Definitely the turkey legs are always a fan favorite,” Whipps said. “The unicorn cake is super popular also.”
Unicorn cake, Whipps said, is a multi-colored tiered cake garnished with fruity pebbles cereal.
Entertainment is provided throughout the parade experience, and Whipps said most guests so far have rolled down their windows to hear the festivities taking place.
Some of that entertainment also includes in-car games, like trivia and a “Carriage Costume Contest.” Puke, a performer from the comedy duo Puke n’ Snot, will also act for the parade of cars.
The parade is located in Louisville Township just outside of Shakopee.
Escape 2020 for a fantasy feast
Families also have until Oct. 4 to make it to this season’s Feast of Fantasy dinner, open the seven weekends the Renaissance Festival was originally slated to be open, and will include between 80 to 100 guests socially distanced under a tent.
The Feast of Fantasy dinner, located on the Renaissance Festival grounds, includes a six-course meal and beverages and two hours’ worth of entertainment from belly dancers, a house band and a juggler. Tickets for the feast are $85 to $105 per person and include a ticket to the 2021 Renaissance Festival and a mug.
“Most of the guests are repeat customers, but we’re hearing great things about the food,” Whipps said of this year’s Feast of Fantasy.
This year’s entrees for the meal includes “smoked pork loin chop sauced with a dark cherry glaze and chicken osso buco with a rich mushroom demi,” according to the website. Vegetarian and gluten free options are also available.
The emcees for the feast are Laszlo Nemesi and Jim Cunningham, who have been involved with the RenFest since 1999 and 1982, respectively, and are familiar names to those who frequent the festival.
“They’re being very clever about what’s going on in the world today,” Whipps said of their emcee entertainment this year.
Following this season’s Feast of Fantasy will be the festival’s annual Halloween-themed Phantom’s Feast, which will run from Oct. 16 through Oct. 31 and will be entertained by Cunningham.
Three feasts have already been sold out for the Phantom’s Feast, so guests should buy tickets well in advance, according to the website.
Phantom’s Feast includes a meal, a wine or beer, a mug and tickets to the Trail of Terror, all for $80.
This year’s Phantom’s Feast menu includes braised brisket with beer cheese, wild rice soup, a wild rice salad and three layer chocolate turtle cake.
Phantom’s Feast is not recommended for people under the age of 17, according to the website.
Editor’s note: The Renaissance Festival announced on Sept. 29 it would extend the Festival on Parade through Oct. 18 as opposed to its originally planned last day on Oct. 4.