AZ Renaissance Festival: Your guide to parking, admission, shows and food

GOLD CANYON, AZ - Hear ye! Hear ye!

The Arizona Renaissance Festival returns to the Valley of the Sun for its 30th anniversary equipped with jousting, smoked turkey legs and eccentric 16th-century entertainment.

Here is everything you need to know about admission, discounts, entertainment, and what to eat and drink:

WHEN IS IT AND HOW DO I GET THERE?

The festival is open Saturdays and Sundays beginning Feb. 10 - April 1, 2018. The only weekday it will be open is Presidents' Day, Monday, Feb. 19.

The hours are 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. rain or shine.

It is located along the U.S. 60 east of Apache Junction, 12601 E. US Highway 60, Gold Canyon AZ 85118.

HOW MUCH IS IT AND ARE THERE DISCOUNTS?

Tickets vary between $16 - $26 per person. You can save $1 on tickets bought from the festival's website, and $2 at Fry's Food Stores.

Fry's Food Stores:

  • $24 - adult
  • $14 - child (5-12)

Online:

  • $25 - adult
  • $15 - child (5-12)

At the festival:

  • $26 - adult
  • $16 - child (5-12)
  • $23 - seniors (60+), military with ID
  • $13 - military child with dependent ID

There is no admission fee for children under 5 years old. Season passes are available for $75 - $180.

Parking is free. View ticket information.

WHAT IS NEW THIS YEAR?

There are at least two new additions to this year's festival:

  • March 24-25, BrewFest: People will be able to sample craft beers in the "Village Green" from 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. More information.
  • Gwendolyn Show: Gwendolyn Steele, one half of the Steele Sisters group, has launched a solo show. She'll perform two shows a day at the Royal Pavilion. 

WHEN ARE THE JOUSTING TOURNAMENTS, AND WHAT OTHER SHOWS ARE THERE?

The festival has more than 40 shows and characters across its 13 stages, plus a 5,000-seat venue to watch the jousting tournaments. You can view the entertainment schedule here.

HIGHLIGHTS:

Jousting: There are three jousting duals a day: Lord Mayor's Joust at 12 p.m., Crown Prince's Joust at 2:30 p.m., and Joust to the Death at 5 p.m.

The Ded Bob Show: A comedy show with "Ded Bob."

Adam Crack: Adam Winrich holds at least four Guinness World Records including most bullwhip cracks in one minute (283), loudest whip crack (148.7 decibels [A weighted]), most bottle caps removed in one minute (12), and most drink cans broken with a whip in three minutes (23).

Barely Balanced: A three-person comedy acrobat act that incorporates juggling pins and flames.

WHAT TO EAT AND DRINK?

We can't say calories don't count at the festival, but you can eat like kings and queens while you're there.

There are at least 15 food vendors at the festival serving up baked goods and chocolate, to soup-filled bread bowls and "steak on a stake." We'd be remised to forget the turkey legs.

The Chocolate Maker: Chocolate-dipped fruit, peanut butter cups, and English Toffee.

Queen's Kitchen: A variety of comfort foods and Mexican cuisine, including burritos, flauta, and fish and chips.

Ye Olde World Sausage Maker: bangers and mash, corn beef and cabbage, and beef meat pie.

Joust Kitchen: pizza, bread bowls, sausage-on-a-stick, steak-on-a-steak, ice cream.

Pleasure Feast: The Pleasure Feast is a five-course dinner and show. They have two daily seatings: noon and 2:30 p.m. The price is $73.95 per person, which includes festival admission. This year's menu features a variety of Greek-inspired dishes. View menu. Reservations are recommended.

Lastly, the festival has a marketplace where you can rent or purchase renaissance-style costumes, musical instruments, metal works and books, among other goods.

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