Ren Fest invites you to drive through in your steel chariot


Even in 2020 plagues can spread like wildfire. And so, ye olde Minnesota Renaissance Festival organizers were forced to cancel their annual party. 

And dang, they were not happy about it:

“Although we disagree with the current State directives that prevent a spacious outdoor venue from opening,” the announcement read, “we recognize the difficulty of the State government’s task.”

Owned and operated by Mid-American Festivals, Ren Fest has always been an anachronistic experience. So with that announcement came a pivot: Now you can drive your car through the -- always very accurate -- 1400s simulation.

“This is a Parade! Vehicles will follow the same 2.5-mile, one-way leisurely route directly through the realm,” states the release. “Plan for a multi-hour experience on your exciting visit to the village with tasty treats, free fun, games, and activities including in-vehicle games like trivia, festival find it, and a carriage costume contest along the way.”

It should be noted, however, that it’s gotta be a car. The event FAQ page forbids RVs, buses, and limousines from entering the realm. And, for the traditionalists in your Ren Fest posse, that also includes donkeys, horses, and travel on foot. And no, your knight gear is not enough to protect you from disease.

Basically, they are cribbing from the super popular Minnesota State Fair food parade from earlier this month. You’ll pay $20 to get your car in, and along the route you can order up to 30 different eats, including turkey legs, unicorn cake, and cheese curds. Other stops as you cruise along include artisan shopping, live entertainment from regulars, and trivia.

The event page also says it’s okay to smoke in your car, so light ’em up if you got ’em. Need a restroom? You’re going to have to further break the era ambiance and stop at a port-o-john along the driving route. 

The event will run weekends from September 19 through October 4, plus Friday, October 2.

While the annual event draws in over 300,000 attendees, this one is going to be smaller, as capacity is limited when people have to navigate via ye olde Honda Civic (regulars already know how jam-packed the parking lot alone gets).

Find tickets and more info here.