Celebrating 35 years of cheers at Arizona Renaissance Festival

There's something for everybody at the Arizona Renaissance Festival [submitted}

At the Arizona Renaissance Festival, visitors take a unique trip back in time.

Not even in her wildest dreams would Queen Elizabeth have imagined a celebration such as this in the foothills of the Superstition Mountains.

Among the largest events of its kind in the country, this special event encourages visitors to revel in the atmosphere of a 16th-century European village every Saturday and Sunday through April 2.

The festival’s 50-acre village is filled with 16 stages of nonstop entertainment, music, comedy, falconry, dance, mermaids and acrobatics. Foolish pleasures mix with artisan treasures as visitors shop, eat and mingle with a cast of nearly 2,000 colorfully costumed characters.

Explore the village marketplace with more than 200 storybook shops, studios and galleries filled with unique arts and crafts, handmade wares, kitchens and pubs, games, and people-powered rides.

Kids love the interactive games and people-powered rides: Da Vinci’s Flying Machine, The Slider Joust, Piccolo Pony—a rocking horse bigger than an elephant.

Live jousting tournaments are among the festival’s most-popular attractions. Armored knights on charging steeds take up their lances and battle for the queen’s honor. Cheer on your favorite armored knight during the three daily jousting tournaments in the 5,000-seat arena.

In addition to the revelry, the festival offers food fit for a king. Attend  the Pleasure Feast and be treated like a true royal while you savor five courses, ample drynk, and enjoy an hour-and-a-half of raucous Renaissance entertainment.

The twice-daily Pleasure Feast includes admission to the festival and a special edition goblet. Reservations are recommended.

Food is plentiful and available throughout the village. The menu is diverse, with delectable offerings, such as steak-on-a-stake, vegetable and meat pies, pastas and bread bowls filled with hearty stews.

And, of course, there are smoked turkey legs.

The desserts are decadent. Be sure to try the crepes or a variety of other sweet-treat surprises A new dessert this season is Chimney Rolls, prepared just they were 400 years ago. The dough is baked on an open fire until the outside dough caramelizes to a perfect golden brown.

More additions for 2023 include: The Renaissance Men involves thrilling, hilarious sword-fighting, danger, excitement and laughs as the two strive to attain the ultimate prize: your validation and the title of The Renaissance Man.

Primrose the Fairy is also new, spreading joy and magic throughout the village. Meet Prim in the lanes of Fairhaven or at the Twig the Fairy shop near the Carnevale Stage.

A comedic addition is Fool’s Medicine. Travel through time with Professor Wrench on a quest to prove that laughter truly is the best medicine.

There is something for everyone at the Arizona Renaissance Festival.


Arizona Renaissance Festival

  • Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., through April 2.
  • 12601 E. U.S. 60 in Gold Canyon.
  • Tickets purchased at Bashas’ or Food City: $33 for adults, $21 for children 5-12, free for children 4 and younger.
  • Tickets purchased at festival gate: Add $1 to above pricing.
  • Free parking.
  • 520-463-2600.
  • Arizona.renfestinfo.com.