The Tennessee Renaissance Festival is under way this month, offering visitors a trip back in time to 16th century England complete with a tour of Castle Gwyn.
The festival runs every weekend in May and concludes on Memorial Day. The hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the grounds located off Highway 96 between Murfreesboro and Franklin.
The annual event brings performers, artisans and vendors from across the country. Over 60 skilled artisans display their wares from silks to swords, from gems to jewels, from face painting to wand-making in the village of Covington Glen.
The festival also offers an array of tastes including the always-favorite giant turkey leg and other specialty foods and drinks. The food can be enjoyed while listening to the sounds of Renaissance musicians and merry-makers as they echo through the trees.
The festival has themed weekends. This weekend will be Celtic weekend featuring games and contests that honor the early Britons. Men are encouraged to wear their kilts if they have them, while children can enjoy a freckle counting contest in the children’s area.
Next weekend, which will be the final of this year’s event, will be the Royal Jousting Weekend where the Gath of Baal Jousting Tournament will be held in full armored contact jousting. While the joust takes place every day of the festival, the final weekend is when the special tournament is held.
Castle tours are available of nearby Castle Gwyn from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day of the festival. Meanwhile, the grounds of the festival offer dramas and comedies from the numerous stages while medieval games can be found around every corner.
Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate. Adults are $20 and children 6-12 are $7. There are also discounts for veterans, seniors and for those purchasing tickets on more than one date.