Family-Friendly Tennessee Renaissance Festival Off to a Festive Start


Kathryn Darden
May 5, 2014
Queen Elizabeth photo © Kathryn Darden

The Tennessee Renaissance Festival experienced unusually beautiful weather for its first weekend. Gone were the rains of past years. Instead, the sun was shining and a cool breeze was blowing making the festival grounds very pleasant. Thanks to the gorgeous weather and a free-ticket giveaway, the turnout was excellent for the opening ceremonies.

The first weekend is always Family Weekend, so there were plenty of young ones running around enjoying the rides, the sights, the food and the entertainment. The Hurlinator was full all day with children flying around the man-powered ride, and there was a brisk sale of bows and arrows and wooden swords. The Pirate show Buckle and Swash, and the Robin Hood show had seats filled to capacity of young ones ready to laugh and holler. Ik and the fairies even read and partially acted out a children's story for the very young ones.

Queen Elizabeth's knighting ceremony was standing-room-only both days as young girls and boys lined up to be knighted as a Lady or a Knight. Each child received a few words from the Queen and a certificate as they were knighted "In the name of St. George, and in the name of St, Michael, and in the name of our Lord God."

Three long rows had been roped off for the ride over to the Castle Gwynn, and children thronged all three lines with their parents anticipating a look at a real castle. Children seemed delighted with the castle, the armor, the crusader sword, and the castle guards.

The Freemans have made every effort to ensure the festival remain family friendly with the exception of the Axel the Sot show rated PG for vulgar innuendo and "colorful" sea-shanty songs.

All in all, the Tennessee Renaissance festival can be a wonderful way for a family to spend the day.

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