The 26th annual Carolina Renaissance Festival opened Saturday and will run for eight consecutive weekends 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. through Nov. 24, rain or shine, north of Charlotte between Concord and Huntersville on I-73 at Poplar Tent Road, between I-77 and I-85.
The fest and Artisan Marketplace comprise a village where imagination, fantasy and history converge. It includes the following.
Fairhaven Village: In cottages, castles, kitchens and pubs in 245 acres of fall forest, villagers, artists, craftspeople, musicians, performance troupes and food vendors gather.
Immersive Theatre: The Lord Mayor opens the village each day to 14 stages for music, dance, comedy and circus acts — from barely balanced acrobats to one-of-a-kind Old-World musical instruments. The stage shows are spontaneous, and audience participation is frequent.
Other attractions: A royal falconer, tournament jousting, complete with pomp, pageantry, action, comedy and chivalry. Living mermaids frolic in a 3,000-gallon aquarium; Lady Alice of Wonderland and Lady Wendy of Neverland.
Vendors will have crafts, food and beverages for sale.