For the last three weekends, the grounds of the Ohio Renaissance Festival opened itself up for a splendid display of lights and revelry to bring us together for the holiday season. This was the Ohio Renaissance Festival’s first go at a winter festival and I have to say it turned out to be the perfect way to keep things merry and bright. The behind-the-scenes crew deserves so much credit for making this such a memorable event to end this year on a positive note.
The grounds were decked out with stunning light displays from the gate to the end of the Upsons & Downs past the Aleing Knight Pub. Some of the most impressive displays were at the front gate, the light show at the Jousting Field, and the Shipwreck Stage where you could hear pirate-themed Christmas sea shanties belting out all night!
Amid the lanes, the cast of ORF made themselves indispensable by providing entertainment for the guests. Fall & Winter (tree stilt characters) ran about, their boughs strung with festive lights, while the carolers of the Queen’s Choice Choir got the crowd to sing along. The Wenches A Wailing celebrated on stage at the 3 Fools Pub with music both jolly and mindful. Santa spent the nights greeting children and taking photos over at the Aleing Knight while Krampus frightened everyone at the top of the New Wold Knoll hill!
Everywhere you turned there was food just waiting to warm your belly. There was beef stew at the bread bowl stand to a pot full of chicken and dumplings, chili dogs at the bbq stand, and chicken fingers at the Aleing Knight. If you poked your head into what is usually DaVinci pizza, you found handmade gingerbread kits stuffed with everything you needed to decorate. You could find hot chocolate and cider, both of which offered a little adult pick-me-up, or you could head straight to the pubs for something to really turn your cheeks rosy.
Many of the vendors who work the ren faire turned up to offer the kind of gifts you can’t get anywhere else. I bought a couple of presents for friends and family, not to mention one or two little pieces for myself. I’m sure there will be some surprises under the tree this year. Nothing says holiday at the ren faire like a velvet cloak or a broadsword!
To round out this event, we took the time to ask folks what brought them out tonight and how they were enjoying the festivities. Take a look at what our visitors had to say.
Did you enjoy the first Yuletide Village? I hope so because we’re doing it all again in 2021! The Yuletide Village will now be a yearly event, with plans to make every holiday season bigger, better, and brighter! What was your favorite moment of the festival? What would you like to see brought in next year? Let us know in our Facebook comments!