Hear ye, hear ye! A beloved Texas tradition has scheduled its 2018 return: The Texas Renaissance Festival has announced that this year's season will run from September 29 to November 25. The festival, which takes place in the town (ahem, "the enchanted kingdom") of Mission, near Houston, is looking to build on last year's momentum. It saw the second highest number of attendees ever — an eye-popping 644,917 — and a record number of weddings.
New this year is a season pass. For a flat fee ($199 until April 30, $299 starting May 1), purchases will receive access to all 19 days as well as preferred parking and free admission to the Saturday night TRF After Dark programming. That would cost almost $900 if purchases at the gate or $700 if bought online in advance. The truly devoted can add season-long camping access for an additional fee ($149 until April 30, $200 starting May 1).
Days at the event can be spent any number of ways, including shopping for arts and crafts or arms and armor, taking in the shows that range from comedians to jousting, or taking in the spectacle of historically (in)accurate costume choices. Getting a fortune read feels more authentic when it's delivered by someone in costume.
Regardless of one's agenda, food is always part of the plan. Diners can't go wrong with a classic turkey leg or sausage on a stick, but the vendors also offer a full range of internationally inspired fare like empanadas, souvlaki, and pierogi. Vegan and vegetarian options are available, too.
Here's the full lineup of this year's themed weekends:
- September 29 and 30: Opening Weekend, Oktoberfest Weekend
- October 6 and 7: 1001 Dreams Weekend
- October 13 and 14: Barbarian Invasion Weekend
- October 20 and 21: Pirate Adventure Weekend
- October 27 and 28: All Hallows' Eve Weekend
- November 3 and 4: Roman Bacchanal Weekend
- November 10 and 11: Heroes and Villains Weekend
- November 17 and 18: Highland Fling Weekend
- November 23, 24, and 25: Celtic Christmas Weekend