The Bay Area Renaissance Festival in Dade City, Florida
Bay Area Renaissance Festival
- Address: 12838 Auton Rd, Dade City, FL 33525
- When: Mid-February to First Weekend in April
- Hours: 10:00AM – 6:00PM
- Tickets: Purchase Here
- Accessibility: Motorized wheelchairs welcome, traditional wheelchairs may have issues navigating the terrain
Step into a realm of homemade armor, corsets that can make your waist scream for mercy, and turkey legs galore at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival in Dade City, Florida. This fun-filled event catapults you straight into the 16th century, where knights clash, artisans craft, and the aroma of mead fills the air (and dust in your nostrils for the next week).
With jousting spectacles that put Game of Thrones to shame (save for a particularly gruesome fight with the Mountain), a marketplace brimming with handcrafted treasures fit for royalty, and a lively atmosphere that makes history come alive that will have you forgetting that you are in the age of internet trolls and selfies.
The Bay Area Renaissance Festival (endearingly nicknamed BARF) proves that time travel is totally possible—well, at least for a few weekends. So, grab your cosplay and buckle up those pantaloons, because you’re about to embark on an adventure steeped in history, culture, and more questionable fashion choices than a time traveler’s wardrobe malfunction.
History and Background of the First Renaissance Festival
In the ye old year 1963, when the Renaissance festival in Agoura, near Malibu, decided to spice up the lives of school children and their families by creating a “living history” extravaganza. Little did they know, this humble gathering would evolve into a colossal interactive playground and gallery, attracting over 200,000 participants and guests. It’s like a Renaissance Coachella, but with fewer flower crowns and more codpieces. This magnificent event birthed an entire industry that now spans across the nation, bringing merriment, jesters, and turkey legs to every corner.
With its enchanting atmosphere, lively entertainment, and authentic reenactments, this festival masterfully captures the spirit and essence of a bygone era. From jousting knights to charming artisans, prepare to be immersed in a world where chivalry, merriment, and fantastical wonders reign supreme.
The Start of the Bay Area Renaissance Festival
Embarking on a journey through time, the Bay Area Renaissance Festival first graced the scene in 1979, finding its humble beginnings in Largo. With a nomadic spirit, it later took up residence at the Tampa Museum of Science and Industry in 2004, before finding its true home at the captivating Withlacoochee River Park in Dade City in 2021. Despite moving to North Carolina in 2020, my unwavering loyalty led me to fly back in 2023, as I joyfully flew back to celebrate our anniversary amidst the whimsical festivities in March this year.
Impact on the Local Community
Beyond the realm of knights and jesters, the Bay Area Renaissance Festival weaves its magic into the local community, leaving a lasting impact. By attracting eager visitors and passionate artisans alike, it invigorates the local economy with a flourish of commerce and cultural exchange. From small businesses flourishing to fostering a sense of community pride, this whimsical festival proves that even in modern times, the spirit of the Renaissance can breathe life into a vibrant community.
Bay Area Renaissance Festival
From thrilling jousting tournaments and enchanting live performances to bustling artisan markets and delectable feasts fit for royalty, this festival offers an immersive experience that caters to all tastes and leaves visitors craving for more. See what it has to offer below!
(Featured above) Prepare to be mesmerized by the hilarious, gravity-defying feats of Acrobellum, the acrobatic troupe that has captivated audiences at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival for years. From the unforgettable moment when Red proposed to Purple in 2014 to their heartwarming incorporation of their family into the show, they embody the perfect blend of jaw-dropping skills, love, and the spirit of adventure, leaving you inspired to embrace the extraordinary in your on life.
2. Wheel of Death
Get prepared to watch Ichabod Wainwright skillfully maneuver his body 30 feet in the air on a wooden wheel, reminiscent of a century-old circus art, akin to a flying, spinning “hamster drum of terror”
Witness the ultimate clash of steel and valor as jousting knights charge into battle, igniting hearts with a thrilling display of courage and chivalry at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival.
Others we have not had the pleasure of seeing (at the new location):
One of our family favorites is the Pinwheel Sideshow because not only is she hilarious, she is one of our favorites to interact with (even if it can be kinda gross, but in a fun way). The Washing Well Wenches are an act that has been around for as long as I have been attending the Bay Area Renaissance Festival. Their unique “dirty” jokes are fun for audiences of all ages. There is a saying that goes around at the Renaissance Festival that goes “If your kids understand our humor, then that is your fault” which is pretty accurate. Most jokes go above the kids’ heads, much like our favorite Disney classics.
dangerously fun activities
In addition to the many amazing shows, you can immerse yourself in the spirit of the era with archery, axe-throwing, knife-throwing, throwing stars, dueling, and the chance to capture unforgettable moments with costumed photo opportunities, ensuring an experience that blends merriment, skill, and the opportunity to unleash your inner time traveler.
shopping & artisan crafts
Step into a vibrant marketplace like no other at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival, where artisans and vendors bring the Renaissance era to life through their remarkable creations. Discover a treasure trove of unique handmade crafts, exquisite jewelry, and Renaissance-themed clothing that will transport you to another time.
I confess my undying love for the armory makers, the weapons tent, and those dangerously seductive corsets at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival. My wallet trembles in fear as I find myself on the brink of spending my life’s savings on these alluring treasures. It’s a dangerous game, my friends, but who needs financial security when you can be armed with swords, shields, and an impeccably cinched waist?
With every purchase, you have the chance to support local artisans and take home one-of-a-kind souvenirs that capture the spirit of the festival. So, unleash your inner collector, embrace the allure of craftsmanship, and indulge in the joy of finding truly remarkable keepsakes that will forever remind you of your Renaissance adventure.
Enchantment knows no age limits at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival! The family-friendly atmosphere ensures that everyone, from the tiniest tots to the wisest elders, can revel in the Renaissance spirit.
Little ones will be enthralled by captivating children’s shows, while games and interactive experiences keep them gleefully entertained. Prepare for your little ones to experience the ultimate knighthood, as they hilariously bop adult knights on the kneecaps during the knighting ceremony, just like Asher did! And that’s not all – watch as their imaginations come to life at the wand making tent, where they can tap into their inner wizard or sorceress and create their own magical masterpieces. It’s a recipe for laughter, mischief, and memories that will make bedtime stories even more epic!
We believe in nurturing a love for history and culture in the younger generation, and bringing the kiddos to the festival. The Bay Area Renaissance Festival serves as an educational playground, where kids can immerse themselves in the wonders of the past while having a rollicking good time. Prepare for a family outing that combines laughter, learning, and a whole lot of fun – because fostering a love for the Renaissance starts at any age!
Food & Drink
Feast like royalty at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival, where delectable delights await to tantalize your taste buds. From succulent turkey legs that demand a two-handed grip to savory meat pies that whisk you back in time, the festival offers a mouthwatering array of culinary creations fit for knights and jesters alike.
Quench your thirst with refreshing ales, honey mead, and other libations, all while savoring the flavors of the Renaissance era. Make sure to try the Bee Sting, an amazing mix of cider and mead to make the ultimate drink! Indulge in these epicurean treasures and let your senses be transported to a time when food was both hearty and heavenly.
Things to Know
- Adult (13+) – $24.95
- Senior (65+) – $20.95
- Child (5-12) – $16.95
- 4 & Under – FREE
Family 4 Pack:
2 Adults + 2 Children: $59.00
$41.00 / per person
- Adult (13+): $93.95
- Child (5-12): $56.95
How to Get There
Need directions from the Tampa International Airport to the Bay Area Renaissance Festival? Simply put your address into the directions portion that is prepopulated here.
Places to Stay
Discover a place to stay near the Bay Area Renaissance Festival, where you can rest and rejuvenate after a day filled with merriment and revelry.
Navigate your way to the Bay Area Renaissance Festival in convenience by utilizing a rental car for transportation.
Prepare to be spellbound and embark on a journey that will leave you longing for more Renaissance revelry!
Don’t miss your chance to step into a world of wonder at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival in Dade City, Florida. With its captivating entertainment, mouthwatering feasts, and a marketplace filled with treasures, this festival is a one-of-a-kind experience that will transport you to the vibrant era of the Renaissance.
Drop a comment below and let us know what aspect of the Bay Area Renaissance Festival tickles your fancy. From tales of epic sword battles to hilarious encounters with jesters, we want to hear it all.