Frolicking in the Renaissance Period – OPINION

Katie Birge weighs in on celebrating the renaissance with fellow journalism editors.


Katie Birge

Caption: Katie, Nina, and Eleanor pose with their champion knight, Sir Daniel, after the “joust to the death.” Jousting was one of the big events at the renaissance festival.

Katie Birge, Editor

A renaissance festival is an outdoor festival that tries to replicate the historical setting known as the renaissance period (Wikipedia). According to, “The Renaissance was a fervent period of European cultural, artistic, political and economic “rebirth” following the Middle Ages.” What can you expect from a renaissance festival?

The renaissance festival I went to was the weekend of September 3rd-4th (Celtic Ceilidh). It is described as “a celebration of dance and culture plus Highland Games” on their website. The festival was in Des Moines and was presented by Sleepy Hollow. I got to attend this festival with my friends and fellow journalism editors, Nina Welter and Eleanor McCalla. There are two more weekends of renaissance festival activities in the month of September this year. These dates are September 10th-11th (Octobeerlesque or Meade met at the Fair), and September 17th-18th (Steampunk, Pets, and Pirate plus Cosplay). You can check out more information about the renaissance festival in the link below.

Before I could get into the renaissance festival, I had to pay $19. There was also a parking fee of $5. Was this worth the price? In my opinion, yes! It is no doubt expensive to attend a renaissance festival because you have to pay for gas, buy tickets, pay a parking fee, pay for food, and if you wish to, buy souvenirs. All this money though is the price to pay for a memorable experience back in time.

My favorite part of the renaissance festival was the shopping, and dressing up. Nina dressed up as a renaissance woman, Eleanor dressed up as an elf, and I dressed up as a fairy. Throughout the festival, I got to add to my outfit, because I bought things for it. There were a lot of cool items at the renaissance festival, from swords to stunning jewelry. At the festival, I got a labradorite bracelet, earrings with pretty crystal white flowers, and a golden forestry crown. My favorite item I bought was the crown, but it was expensive at $48. It is beautiful though, and I got a lot of compliments on it.

There were so many that there were different activities happening at the same time. Sadly, we couldn’t do them all, but one of the memorable activities that we did do was jousting. In jousting, we were assigned a champion. Our champion was named “Sir Daniel,” while the other team’s champion was “Sir Joseph.” Watching the jousting was like watching a play. There was obviously a plot and it was rehearsed, but nonetheless, it was entertaining. The first jousting match was a family-friendly jousting match, but when Sir Joseph started cheating it became a joust to the death. We had to return for the joust to the death match at 4:30 pm, so we had some free time in between the two matches. Sir Daniel ended up winning and became the champion.

From shopping to jousting, the renaissance festival surely is the place to go for entertainment and fun. The festival is a great place to leave the world that we are part of, and instead surround ourselves in a place where we can forget our busy lives. It was expensive, but there were so many activities, performances, and stunning items to buy that it was worth it.