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Minnesota Renaissance Festival Tips: Weekends 4-7

It's getting cooler and busier

By Tinka Boudit She/HerPublished 6 months ago 6 min read
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Also Check out My Top 10 List, A Playtron's Guide, Garb tips, and Festival Attending Weekends 1-3

For other specifics, check out the Minnesota Renaissance Festival Website

Shared from other long time Minnesota Renaissance Festival goers...

Be Kind - Please be kind to the staff/volunteers you do see. They're doing the best they can with what's available to them to create an enjoyable and magical atmosphere for you, your family, and your friends. Kindness goes a long way toward enhancing the experience for everyone. Besides, you never know what kind of favors or secrets you'll attract. And be kind to other patrons. You're all in the same crowd, in the same weather, probably sat in the same traffic. Let someone sit next to you at a table or performance, let the littles in front of you to see the show, dress up and become part of the atmosphere. Have fun!

Cash - Bring cash! Lots! And get it before you get to fest. All alcohol, most food, and several merchants are cash only. Yes they've added a bunch more ATMs, but crowds are on the rise since the end of the State Fair they're having trouble keeping them stocked. Also, please don't bring a stack of $100s or $50s. Tills are a set amount supplied by fest and having to make change for even two $100 bills early or late in the day can completely drain the till of small bills. If you need to break a large bill, try to do it at least after Noon and before 5pm and ask if there's change available to do it.

Tipping - A significant number of food and beverage workers are not paid an hourly wage from fest. Also, a significant number of stage and street performers aren't paid nearly enough for the work they do. The hours are long, everything is outdoors regardless of weather, and many are locals with "regular" jobs during the week. Yes they choose to be there and they enjoy what they do, but working fest is essentially overtime for less money. Please, please, please be as generous as you're able with your tips.

Alcohol Sales - A valid, non expired photo ID with birth date is required for every single alcohol purchase. You will not be served if you have any alcohol related restrictions on your license, if your license is voided/clipped and you don't bring your papers showing it has been renewed/reinstated, if your license is expired, or if your ID is in any other way invalid. Only 1 drink per person per visit. These laws and policies are non-negotiable. Please don't argue with your servers about them. They don't set the rules, but they are subject to significant legal action, as laid out in the required alcohol service training, if they don't enforce them.

Inventory - Sometimes items run out. For merchants it could be sales are higher than expected and/or material availability is limited. For many of the food and beverage vendors it's out of their control. Fest provides the product, they just sell it. It could be there aren't enough runners to restock product, or the area supply room is out and runners are checking other areas which are farther away, or there just simply isn't anymore to be had. As we get closer to the end of fest (October 1st) many items will be permanently out of stock to reduce waste and returns once fest is over. Please be kind if what you're looking for is unavailable. There may be other options you hadn't considered or other vendors may have some left, and merchants may have a website or email where you can place an order after fest is done.

Self Care - Be prepared for the weather, whatever that may be at any given moment. Wear comfortable shoes. Sections of the road and nearly all of the grassy areas are rutted, uneven, or wet. Drink water, then drink more water. Technically no outside food or beverage is allowed in except for baby/toddler bottles and formula, and packaged foods for special dietary needs, and single sealed bottles of water (one per person) but you can leave items in your vehicle to retrieve later. You can come and go as you please if you get your hand stamped on the way out. Bring sunscreen, bug spray, Tylenol/ibuprofen, tums, TP/wipes. These are all thing Safety Services has been asked for. Oh, and drink some water.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!

HOW TO GET TO THE KINGDOM

There are only two roads that will take you to the gates of the festival. Entering and exiting will be via Highways 169 and 41 only.

Please DO NOT rely on applications like Google or Waze as they may re-route you if there is traffic. Alternate routes or detours will NOT be available to visitors via local roads. Local roads will be blocked and accessible only to local residents and businesses.

WHEN TO ARRIVE:

The majority of the patrons arrive between 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., so to avoid long lines, we invite you to arrive early so you can be at the gate when the King and Queen declare the festival open with the cannon at 9 a.m. Parking is available as early as 7:30 AM.

Parking is $10 if purchased in advance for specific days -OR- $30 if you show up day of without advanced purchase.

For more parking info

PUBLIC TRANSIT:

For more Transit/Park and ride info

SATURDAY & SUNDAY, AUG. 19 – OCT. 1 + LABOR DAY, SEPT. 4 & FRIDAY, SEPT. 29

1. MINNESOTA VALLEY TRANSIT AUTHORITY – EAGLE CREEK – ADA Accessible

Address: 6600 Eagle Creek Boulevard, Shakopee, MN 55379

Available Parking: 563 spaces

2. RICHFIELD BUS LINES / LORENZ – CANTERBURY PARK PARKING LOT

Address: 1100 Canterbury Rd, Shakopee MN 55379

Park & Ride Vouchers are available for purchase from 8 AM – 5 PM at the address listed above.

Available Parking: 1500 spaces

SATURDAY & SUNDAY, SEPT. 2 (CLOSED LABOR DAY MONDAY, SEPT. 4) – OCT. 1 + FRIDAY SEPT. 29

3. RICHFIELD BUS LINES / LORENZ – SCOTT COUNTY FAIR GROUNDS

Address: 7151 190th St W, Jordan MN 55352

Park & Ride Vouchers are available for purchase from 8 AM – 5 PM at the address listed above.

Available Parking: 1500 spaces

SATURDAY & SUNDAY, SEPT. 9 – OCT. 1 + FRIDAY SEPT. 29

4. MINNESOTA VALLEY TRANSIT AUTHORITY – SOUTHBRIDGE CROSSINGS – ADA Accessible

Address: 1401 Crossings Boulevard, Shakopee, MN 55379

Available Parking: 500 spaces

SATURDAY & SUNDAY, SEPT. 9 – OCT. 1 – NOT AVAILABLE ON LABOR DAY OR FESTIVAL FRIDAY

5. MINNESOTA VALLEY TRANSIT AUTHORITY – BURNSVILLE TRANSIT HUB – ADA Accessible

Address: 100 East Highway 13, Burnsville, MN 55337

Available Parking: 1300 spaces / Overflow Lot is located at the Heart of the City with 370 additional spaces

BUY YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE:

The most convenient option is to get tickets on the website through Etix

You can also buy them at the King or Queens Gate Box Office at the Festival or any of our participating advance outlets.

WHAT TO BRING:

The gates are open rain or shine. Check the weather before you arrive. Dress to your comfort level. Comfortable shoes are a must.

BRING CASH:

Many booths at the Renaissance Festival only take cash. There are also ATMs located throughout the festival grounds for your convenience. While there are many ATM'S available on site in multiple locations, the lines can be long.

PLAN ON WALKING:

The Renaissance Festival covers a lot of area, with an amazing number of food vendors, artisan shops, and stages. Because it covers such a large area, plan on doing a lot of walking.

CELLULAR SERVICE:

Cellular service didn't exist in the 16th century 😉, so while VERIZON has helped significantly with service, some days with higher crowds have less reception. Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the Renaissance atmosphere!

The Minnesota State Fair is over. Come visit the realm. We will see you in the lanes!

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Tinka Boudit She/Her

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