Oyez! Oyez! Attention everyone! Queen Catherine Parr and her royal court are inviting all fair maidens and mighty knights to this year’s Bay Area Renaissance Festival. Looking to celebrate this Valentine’s Day in an unusual yet fun way? You are in luck! The yearly festival will be returning to Tampa on Saturday, February 15th, at the Museum of Science and Industry. Even better, the festival will be held every Saturday and Sunday until March 29th, so you can come back as many times as you want. Bring your partner, family or friends and go back in time to the 16th Century, where you’ll be welcomed by royalty itself!
Opened since 1979, the festival has had approximately 80,000 annual visitors and outstanding performances in all of their 12 entertainment stages. In addition to this, there are at least 80 artisans ready to deliver their very best products to you and your family in this magical evening. Enjoy fanciful foods and sweets throughout the festival.
The Renaissance was one of the most romantic periods in history, with countless love movies and books based on this time. The Bay Area Renaissance Festival brings back this amorous vibes with different activities and contests for you to enjoy!
It wouldn’t be the 16th Century if there wasn’t any kind of duel or competition in town! There will be several contests for couples to show off their romantic side, such as the Fudge Fling, Sweet Stroll, Grape Stomp, and the Couple's Chocolate Pie Eating Contest.
On Saturday, Feb 15, four lucky couples will be able to compete in the Wedding Wars, where they will be fighting for the amazing opportunity to win a Whirlwind Wedding! There will be three rounds where each couple will be tested on their skills and love. A couple will be eliminated on each round until a winner can sing victory! The couple who wins 1st place will be given a private wedding ceremony, a dinner for the winner and six more guests at the pirate gallery, a weekend getaway honeymoon, and much more! But don’t you worry, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place will enjoy amazing prizes as well!
On Sunday, Feb 16, contestants will be able to showcase their bakery skills by participating in the Cupcake Crusades, where they will have to present the judges one dozen cupcakes with three different designs and flavors.
There is something for everyone, so if these don’t sound like your type of fun, you can also check out the festival’s many other contests, such as the Fairy House competition, banner competition, mural competition, belly dancing competition, and archery competition. Lastly, this year will be the 12th Annual Imperial Fencing Competition, where Henry VIII invites his most worthy subjects to prove to the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, that the people of their kingdom have equal skills and talents. So test your skills and engage in an epic duel with some worthy fencer! There are special rules for this event, so make sure to check out their website for more information.
Do you have what it takes to escape the king’s castle? This year’s festival will feature a brand new Escape Room for you to test your puzzle solving skills while having fun with family and friends! Also brand new, the festival will be hosting different Viking Games at the Viking Encampment. After learning about the Viking Lore or watching the Viking Battles, you can have your picture taken at the Pit of Misery or play a fanciful game of Dungeons and Dragons.
There will be several other activities and entertainment, such as the fan favorite Bunny Fencing. More entertainment will be announced soon.
Ticketing & Hours
The Renaissance Festival will open every weekend, even on rainy days. This year there will be a special Festival Friday on March 27th. Come as early as 10 a.m. and have a fun day until 6 p.m. Admission at the gate will be $22.95 for adults, and $14.95 for children between 5 and 12 years old. Four and under are free! Discount tickets will be available at participating Circle K locations or on their website.
Kegs ‘N’ Eggs
This event is only for the adults of the land! Coming back to the festival fairgrounds, Kegs ‘N’ Eggs will open again in April. There will be different fun events, such as Craft Beer Tasting, Food Trucks, and Live Entertainment! In addition, you will be able to test your searching skills by participating in the Adult Egg Hunt. Eggs will be hidden all over the grounds so make sure you check every last spot! Win up to $75,000 in prizes!