The Saint Louis Renaissance Festival will kick off it’s 22nd annual season on Sept. 19.

The festival will be open all weekends rain or shine, COVID permitting, from Sept. 19 to Oct. 18, with gates opening at 10 a.m. and closing at 6 p.m. each day. There will also be a “Discover the Renaissance” education day on Monday, Oct. 12 that offers free admission to honor students and 2020 graduates. The festival is located at Rotary Park in Wentzville, and parking is free.

Walking over a short bridge, festival goers will find themselves immersed in a different world and time. The Renaissance festival offers a wide assortment of entertainment, from live jousting matches, artisan vendors, different reenactments of royal custom, medieval style food, and many other cultural immersive characters and events.

Each weekend the festival will offer a different theme with assorted competitions and activities to go along with the fun. The first weekend’s theme is the Highland Fling, and festival goers will be able to participate in all sorts of Scottish themed contests from a stone throw, keg toss, and kilt and beard competitions. Following theme weekends include ‘Pets, Pirates and Ale’, ‘Shamrocks, Shenanigans, and Sweet Romance’, ‘Viking Invasion and Cosplay in the Kingdom’, and ‘Oktoberfest and Other Wonders of the World’.

“Renaissance Festivals are important for several reasons. They have a great economic impact to the surrounding community as well as offer an escape from the hustle of everyday life.” Amanda Kuchar said, a festival organizer, “We have several educational activities including jousting, glassblowing, sword fighting, blacksmith demonstrations, Renaissance themed music, historically accurate reenactment guilds and much more.”

Festivals like this give artisans a chance to promote and live off their craft. With COVID this year cancelling a lot of earlier festivals, different vendors have had a lot of time at home to hand make their products, and for many of them the STL Renaissance Festival could be the first event they participate in for 2020.

As the festival draws nearer, Kuchar said that the event organizers would continue to pay close attention to COVID and stay in communication with patrons on what procedures to commit to. Festival goers can head to the STL Renaissance Festival Facebook page to stay up to date on procedures and changes related to COVID. For more detailed information on different weekends, activities, competitions that could win free admission, and purchasing tickets, visit stlrenfest.com.