New this year are five grab-and-go sites to help those on the hunt to skip the line and get something quickly. The Alling Night Terrace near Ghost Square will offer ready-to-go chicken sandwiches, Revealers Stage Gazebo will serve corn and hot dogs, New World Knoll Gazebo will sell pulled beef sandwiches, Rose and Crown will sell Italian sausages and sausages, Gazebo will sell 1572 Pulled pork sandwiches. All this will help those who are more interested in absorbing the entertainment get back to it faster.
For those who like to sit back and have fun, there are many ways to find something more formal and more comfortable. This is my favorite when I’m looking for a spell.
1572 Roadhouse Bar – BQ: Located on Bard’s Lane, with plenty of covered seating nearby, this popular pulled pork sandwich or plate, smoked turkey breast sandwich or plate, hot Texas sausage sandwich, baked beans, mac and peach cheese or blackberry cobbler, is a popular choice.
Alling Night Pub: Located in the Upson Downs, this is the place to sit down and enjoy a Scotch egg if you have not at all or if you have. This boiled egg wrapped in ground sausage is baked or fried. It’s easy to eat with your hands and it’s my favorite way to start the day at the Renaissance Festival if you get there when it opens. It makes for a satisfying breakfast. They also have “King’s Weinie,” a half pound hot dog with a tater that can be smothered for an extra cost, as well as spicy cheese curds, french fries, spicy corn chips, chicken sandwiches, sautéed mushrooms, strawberry cheesecake and cheesecake on a stick.
Rose and crown: Located in Wanderer’s Way, you can find huge turkey legs as well as chicken fingers and fries, pork chop sandwich, french fries, sausage sandwich, reuben tots, apple dumplings, Belgian waffle sundaes and brownie sundaes.
If you want to get really formal, opt for the royal feast. Every day at 3 p.m. at Feast Hall, tickets are available for a comforting five-course meal served alongside live entertainment that will take you through the hero’s journey. Limited to 100 seats, it is intimate, inviting and worthwhile. Broadly speaking, this is the best ticket out there to experience the Renaissance festival where you can beat the crowds, get great seating for live entertainment, access to a nice bathroom, five food dishes, plus an exclusive Royal Feast cup.
The feast starts with a little fruit, cheese, onion biscuits, and mushrooms. The feast itself is a meat lover’s dream with plenty of beef, chicken, and pork to fill you in on where you most likely need to be. Served with honey carrots and herb-roasted potatoes to accompany your protein stacks. Candy will cover it. This year they added vegetarian options for those who want to skip the beef,
Bud Light, Michelob Ultra, Guinness, Harp, Smithwick’s and Woodchuck cider are all available in draft. Pepsi, red wine and rose products are also available.
It’s a great ticket for those who want to experience some festival without the crowds and long queues. It’s also great value for $75 per person based on the amount of food and drink and access to entertainment in comfort. It’s a hot ticket with only one seat for each day of the festival from 3pm to 5pm
For those who want to focus less on food and more on drinks, there’s the Whiskey Witches of Willy Nilly tasting at Tipsy Cauldron at 1 p.m. every day featuring six spirits that rotate throughout the season. Tickets $35.
There is also an interactive pub crawl at 1:30pm and 3:30pm every day. All tickets must be purchased in advance, so plan accordingly.
For those who enjoy a little beer, there’s an exclusive brew for the festival this year from the Rhinegeist Brewery in Cincinnati.
“One pale ale rules them all… Chain Mail Pale Ale offers a sparkling array of hops over graceful pilsner and wheat malt for a balanced, catapult-like profile and provides a siege of flavour. If you’re looking for the holy grail of pale ale, Chain Mail is a fun no-no. Fit for a Queen! The Chain Mail Pale Ale has been specially prepared for Ohio’s Renaissance Festival and is a limited edition and draft only,” according to the festival’s press release.
It’s a great process when it comes to food preparation not only considering the volume of food produced over the total 18 days, not to mention considering the variety of food options across the festival.
I personally love this event. It’s always very entertaining with great people watching in a nicely organized and fun environment, but I like it more because of the food. They can serve up whatever they want to a captive audience, but they have found ways to be thoughtful, creative and satisfy a tender chicken crowd while making an effort to wow those looking for something a little more in keeping with the times of the 16th century.
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how to go
what or what: Renaissance Festival in Ohio
When: Saturdays and Sundays until October 30
where: Renaissance Park in Harveysburg. It is located just minutes from I-71, Exit 45 or I-75, Exit 38 on State Route 73 in Warren County.
cost: Tickets: $28 (adults), $10 (children ages 5-12), $80 (adult season ticket). Children 5 years old and younger stay for free.
Themed weekends: Pirate Weekend, September 18th; Highland Weekend, September 24-25; Time Travel Weekend, October 1-2; Vikings Weekend, October 8-9; Romantic Weekend, October 15-16; Feast of Fools, from October 22 to 23; Tricks or candy, October 29-30
More information: www.renfestival.com