Welcome to the
2015 Minnesota Renaissance Festival!

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is celebrating its 45th Season!
Come and be a part of this long-standing tradition by visiting the
festival grounds in Shakopee, MN.

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Minnesota's History with the Faire

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival began its journey in September of 1971 on a 22 acre field in Jonathan, MN. More than 25,000 people visited the two weekend grand opening of the festival than named “A Celebration of Nature, Art, and Life!” That celebration has since relocated to Shakopee, MN and has grown to be the largest Renaissance Festival in the United States with an annual attendance of 300,000.

16th Century Fashion

The early years of the 1500s were marked by the style change of fashion. The tall, narrow lines of the medieval era were replaced with a wide silhouette. Also included are contrasting fabrics, slashes, embroidery, applied trim, as well as other forms of ornamentation. Sleeves became the center of attention. Small geometric patterns became prominent and in England, it progressed into elaborate patterns associated with the flowering of Blackwork embroidery.

For women in England, gowns changed from one garment to multiple pieces. High-waistline gowns descended to the natural waistline and eventually into a v-shape format. By the middle of the 1500s, gowns had a square neckline complete with long trumpet sleeves which were eventually replaced by full round sleeves by the end of the century. Hoop skirts and corsets also became popular at this time along with a variety of hats, hair nets, caps, and hoods. Unique to England became the gable hood, which was structured to look like the gable of a house. Over time, this changed to a more relaxed version that was set back on the head to reveal the front part of the
hair which was parted and pinned back.

For men’s fashion, the long narrow line of the medieval period also progressed to a wide silhouette. King Henry VIII is known for his square silhouette with large sleeves. However, by the middle of the century the lines slimmed down and became tighter fitting as shoulders lost their padding. Lower class men wore a one-piece garment that was tight to the waist with knee-length skirts. Bright colors were most fashionable: reds, yellows, purples, pinks, and greens.
The codpiece disappeared by the end of the century.

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is modeled after a 16th
Century village with King Henry and Lady Elizabeth.

The Royal Joust

The sport of jousting began in 1066 as a way for knights to practice their horsemanship and show off their skills with the lance. It later became a way to settle judicial disputes. The victorious knight was seen to have God on his side, therefore not guilty. It also was a way for a knight to quickly make a name for himself and earn large sums of money.

As the sport of jousting became more popular and less brutal, the laws and rules became more complex.  This is where the idea of chivalry came into play. A knight would choose a beautiful, married, lady whose husband was of higher ranking than the knight. He would then fight in her honor.

He would face the other opponent and try to knock him off his horse with the lance. In the end, the joust became a test of physical strength for both the horse as well as the knight. It is now a popular event at Renaissance Fair’s across the country.

Visit one of our FREE shows, held daily at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, 4:00 pm

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Film/Photo Rights:

All film rights are reserved. Commercial use of photos, videos or audio tapes made at the festival
without written permission from the Marketing Department is strictly prohibited. We prohibit the
use of video or photographic monopods or tripods unless authorized by MRF management.

Weapons Policy:

The Festival bans guns on our premise. Longbows are allowed as long as they are not strung,
arrows, with tips are not allowed unless you are competing in the longbow competition that day.
Swords, Knives, Dirks and Daggers must be completely sheathed and peace-tied. Axes, Claymores, Maces,
Antique Firearms, Pikes and Halberds are NOT allowed on the Festival site. No drawing of any weapon
at any time. Must be 18 years or older to carry a weapon. If you have additional questions, please contact
the Festival Office for more information at 952-445-7361.


Looking for something specific?

Royal Photo Contest
Bring your dog!

Questions or comments:


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