Renaissance Faires & Festivals date back several hundred years to the romantic era of England and typically explore the mystical pageantry of the Middle Ages filled with jousting knights, kings, queens, lords, ladies, serving wenches and other amusing characters. But who would've thought that Tennessee is home to not one but two Renaissance Fairs and one that even runs a whole month long!
Tennessee Renaissance Festival - May
All of these festivals are filled to the brim with 16th century costumed characters, music and fun filled festivities but the biggest of the three is the Tennessee Renaissance Festival. This huge huge Renaissance festival is held annually just outside of Nashville in the quaint community of Triune.
The Tennessee Renaissance Festival hosts four weekends of medieval activities with every weekend offering a different and unique theme.
Some of their most entertaining activities include a human chess match, impressive knife throwing shows, vow renewal ceremony and the crowd favorite, jousting tournament.
But the most impressive sight that visitor could ever fest their eyes upon is Castle Gwynn, a full size replica of a twelfth century border castle. Did I mention this festival was huge?
Shakespeare & Friends Renaissance Festival - June
The Shakespeare and Friends Renaissance Festival is held annually, for over a decade, in the historic East Tennessee town of Rogersville. Featured events at this festival include an interactive parade and storytelling, Madrigal Feast, jousting, Celtic music, belly dancing, puppetry and more middle age merriment.
As with all of the Renaissance Festivals you can also expect to see medieval costumes and artisans selling such items as armor, clothing, weapons, jewelry, and more.
Dragon Days Renaissance Festival - April
This young Renaissance festival was held in the Upper Cumberland area at the Hidden Hollow Park, located in Cookeville, Tennessee. Dragon Days offers visitors a chance to see a Renaissance Pageant, a parade, jugglers, Maypole Dances, Fire eaters, sword swallowers and other magical entertainers.
You can expect to also see a ton of costumes and medieval attire as well as plenty of vendors selling their wares. The faire also offers some primitive on site overnight facilities for those who insist on playing the part.