A Weekend Escape to the Past: Louisiana Renaissance Festival

 

 

 

The eagerly anticipated, annual Louisiana Renaissance Festival transforms 16 acres of Hammond, LA, into the town of Albright, which emulates an historical 16th-century village in England during its fall harvest festival. The entire staff is required to dress in the style of that time—which is encouraged for visitors, or “villagers,” as well—and there are a host of special activities to bring to life this truly Renaissance experience.

Located about an hour’s drive from New Orleans, the LA Renaissance Fest is not only entertaining, it’s educational and filling as well. There are forty stage shows every day, plus minstrels, jugglers, singing pirates, clowns, fire-eaters, sword-fighting, games, rides, and jousting for the delight of kids and adults alike. Every turn brings more craft demonstrations, from glassblowing and blacksmithing to candle making and woodworking.

The sights, sounds, and smells of the festival streets will pique your interests in all things Albright. Instruments like the hammer dulcimer and bagpipes are played on the side of the road, plus booths of classic musical instruments predating those popular today. More than 100 merchants host tents, braiding booths, and food booths, peddling everything from clothing and art to roasted pecans and turkey legs. You can even enjoy mead and other traditional spirits, several flavors of old fashioned root beer, and cream ale served at stations around the fest.

As you enter the park, you’ll see spectators donning hats and clothing of the day, and you’ll smell the roasting pecans within moments. Passing stages of music, animals, comedy, and children’s shows, you’ll make your way toward the jousting pavilion where real jousts take place throughout the day. You can pick your favorite rider and cheer as the two match up for an entertaining show that’s unlike anything you’ll see anywhere else in or around New Orleans.

The Louisiana Renaissance Festival is open Saturdays and Sundays from 9:45 am to 5:00 pm every Saturday and Sunday from the first Saturday of November till December 9th. Dressing up in the traditional garb is encouraged, as you’ll fit in with all of the well-dressed employees of the fest. One-day tickets are $14.95 for adults and $8.45 for children 12 and under.

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