One of the oldest festivals in Middle Tennessee is the Tennessee Renaissance Festival, held yearly in Arrington, just South of Nashville. Every Saturday and Sunday in May and Memorial Day, the grounds near the large castle that can be seen from I-840, called Castle Gwynn, transform into a realm of medieval entertainment and crafts.
The Tennessee Renaissance Festival is a family-friendly event that offers plenty of fun for all ages. Entertainers like Captain John Stout and his songs of pirate life or Flying Karamazov member Paulo Garbanzo with his amazing juggling skills will delight the kids while the ribald pub songs of perennial TN Ren Fest favorite Axel the Sot and the man-chasing antics of the Washing Well Wenches will provide entertainment for the adults.
If you’re a fan of Renaissance or Celtic music, The Tennessee Renaissance Festival is a great place for you as well. Celtic group The Empty Hats, romantic balladeer Craig of Farrington, and the bagpipe and drum sound of Cu Dubh will ensure that you get all of the music that you could want.
Of course, the highlight of every Tennessee Renaissance Festival is in the specialty entertainment. Master Falconer Kitty Tolson-Carroll will show off her beautiful and fascinating birds of prey in an educating and entertaining display. The highly anticipated Living Chess Match is presented by a troupe of re-enacters who use real weapons in a dazzling display of stage combat. And of course, the most popular attraction at the Tennessee Renaissance Festival, the jousting demonstrations.
Each weekend at the Tennessee Renaissance Festival has a theme. May 7 is family discount day. With two paid adult admissions two grandparents and all children under 12 will enter free. On May 8, Mother’s Day, the first 100 mothers will be given a special gift and married couples can participate in a Ren Fest vow renewal on the grounds. On February 14-15, it is Share Love weekend, where the Tennessee National Guard will collect canned goods for Second Harvest Food Bank. On May 21-22, Pirates will invade the festival grounds and there will be a Children’s Pirate Costume Contest. On May 28, 29, and 30, the Tennessee Renaissance Festival will hold its Royal Jousting Tournament Weekend where champions from across the realm will compete in full armoured joust.
Tickets to the TN Renaissance Festival are $20 for adults and $7 for children 6-12. Seniors and active military tickets are $17.
See our review of the 2010 Tennessee Renaissance Festival, including pictures, here.