Ohio Renaissance Festival Autumn 2022

The Ohio Renaissance Festival in Harveysburg, Ohio, harkens back to the year 1572 during the time of Queen Elizabeth I. Her Majesty reigns supreme over this 35-acre village, with all of its entertainment, activities, food, and drink. Festival-goers can enjoy jousting, singing, dancing, grilled meats, Irish coffee, and theatre-in-the-round.

Willy Nilly on the Wash, Ohio RennFaire, Sept 25 2022

The Ohio Renaissance Festival village is located in Warren County, Ohio, along Interstate 71, halfway between Columbus and Cincinnati, exit 45. The festival runs on the weekends of September and October, including Labor Day.

Open the Gates to the Castle!

The traffic heading to Renaissance Park is heavy; it’s a popular event. The parking lot opens at 9:30 am and the gates open at 10:30. At quarter after ten, the Queen’s entourage comes forth to entertain the revelers gathered at the gate.

A colorful cast of characters inside the Castle.

A marvelous cast of Renaissance characters await visitors immediately upon entering the village gate. The entry process is very smooth, with a ticket-taker checks phones for tickets or takes the paper ones. A first-aid station is on the right at the front gate.

Strolling musicians abound.

The Renaissance Village is filled with music and musicians in period garb stroll the grounds. Other performers can be found on outdoor stages or in the pubs. The sounds of a hammered dulcimer fill the air at this very moment.

An "ent" performer strolls by an artisanal

The village has more than 150 artisans; truly a visual feast and paradise of unusual wares. These craftspeople take credit cards in additional to the coin of the realm. It’s fun to see the prices listed in pound-sterling. A lot of stores have really creative names.

This shop features hair-braiding.

The village merchants take credit cards, but the internet connection in Harveysburg, Ohio, is not great. It often cuts out, and ORF recommends bringing cash. Entry tickets bought online should be saved to a phone before arrival. (Buy tickets at the front gate with cash and save the credit-card processing fee.)

This sign points in many directions.

This signpost appears inside the front gate, and many others like it pop up all over the village. The Mudde Show is to the left as is a cheeseburger stand, plus a stage venue, Dragon’s Lair. One sign not posted, though, is for the Privy, the best of which is to the left.

The women's privy.

On the way to the Mudde Show, heading left from the front gate, is the most modern privy at the festival. This side is for Ladies in Waiting. There are clean flush toilets, tp, hygiene items, faucets, soap, paper towels, etc. Swordsmen should go to the right as the rustic privy is for them.

The Garden of Eatin hamburger stand.

The Garden of Eatin has “8 oz Quality Beef Burgers” plus veggie burgers. Food prices are hard to find online, so here they are: German burger, beef or chicken, $15: cheese, sauerkraut, grilled onion, grilled jalapeños, and dijon mustard. Most burgers are $15.00. The Peasant burger is $13.00.

This is the Knight-themed burger plus fries.

The Knight Burger, $15, with fries, $7, has cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles. Loaded Irish fries, not shown here, is $14; a boat of the Queen’s fries is $9.00. Drinks and water can be purchased next door at the the Dragon’s Lair Pub drink stand. Taxes seem to be included in the prices shown.

This food stand sells chicken and rice lunches.

The Bourbon Chicken food stand is also near the Muditorium. The chicken-and-rice meal served here is good. The chicken breasts are grilled right here at the stand. Fairy fries are next door. There is also the nearby Jerusalem Cafe for Middle Eastern food.

Chicken meals, large and small, plus a fruit cup.

A single styrofoam clamshell is $12 and a double clamshell is $18. A large pineapple fruit cup is $6. Add beans for a buck. The sit-down table area for the eateries near the Muditorium is rustic, and the ground is uneven. Some folks take their meals to a pub.

A real muddy show.

Welcome to the Muditorium, also known as Theatre-in-the-Ground. There are four shows here daily: Beowulf at 11:30 am, Dante’s Inferno at 1 pm, Jerkules at 2:30, and The Viking Show at 4 pm. This is the Beowulf show, with almost all of its very rustic seats filled.

The performers get really muddy here.

This is the end result of the Muditorium show, muddy male nudity and all. Most performers at ORF pass the bucket, or the beer stein, after their shows for the audience to show their appreciation with tips. Note the themed merchandise in the background.

Rally around the Maypole at the festival.

Plan on a lot of walking at the Ohio Renaissance Festival, rain or shine, sunshine or clouds, to get from event to event. This is the Maypole & Chessboard stage, with mini bleachers to sit on. Guests can join in the fun at the end of the Maypole show.

Queen Elizabeth makes her appearance.

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth I, the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland & the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Queen, Defender of the Faith, has arrived for Human Chess. Her minions are aligned to either side of her.

The pieces of the human chessboard press for an advantage.

Human chess, aside from the Jousting, is the most exciting show at the Festival. Swords and shields and staffs will clash as Her Majesty’s champions do battle on the board. A hat, sunglasses, sit pad, water bottle, layered clothing, and sturdy shoes will enhance enjoyment of all the events.

This is the coffee shoppe.

The Starstuck Cafe is perfect for a break between events. The coffee here is good and the service is pleasant. The baked goods are delicious, if pricey. Rustic seating is nearby. Water bottles are $3, or two for $5. A turkey leg is $13.

Irish coffee is a real treat.

The Irish Iced Coffee, $8, features Jameson Coldbrew, Irish cream, whipped cream, and chocolate syrup. This delightful drink adds a special glow to the rest of the day’s shows, particularly the singing-and-dancing revue at 3 Fools Pub.

This vendor forges metal.

Dragon’s Head Forge in Market Square is near the front gate. This shoppe is listed in the very handy ORF program guide & map as a Demonstrating Artist. Even if nothing is purchased, a tip would show appreciation for the work.

The two unicorns performing.

The Two Unicorns duo performs at the Tipsy Cauldron on Market Square during the Highland-themed Weekend of September 24-25th, 2022. Each of the nine ORF operating weekends has a theme, and it’s fun to dress up.

The Cinci Barbarians go at hand to hand combat.

Now showing at the Downs is the Cincinnati Barbarians armored combat group. This group has two 45-minute shows, at 1 pm and 3:15 pm. The announcer is fun, but the combat is hard to see at this venue. Tiered bleachers could help with this.

This is the three fools pub venue.

High-energy musical entertainment can be found at 3 Fools Pub on Bard’s Lane. Performances include: Lads on the Lash, Dahm & Dove, Celtic Mayhem, Pirates Creed, and the Sirens. Food, ATM, and the privy are all right here; now is a great time to drink a bottle of water.

Pirate songs are fun for everyone.

Pirates Creed is from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is working on their second album. They perform throughout the Midwest on river cruises and at other rennfaires. This duo gets the whole pub singing their classic pirate songs.

The Singing Sirens of Ohio RennFaire.

The Sirens have two shows each day at 3 Fools Pub at 1 pm and 3:30. There is one later show at the Feast Hall (premium ticket, best purchased online) for ages 21 & over called the Naughty Bawdy Pub Show.

The Sirens are singing and dancing on stage.

The Sirens’ daytime shows are billed on the ORF website as PG-rated. The 3:30 show, shown here, was introduced by The Sirens as “PG-13.” The song performed here is entitled, “The Cockerel Song.” Fun show, to be sure, but maybe not for kids.

This is the jousting arena.

“Full armored jousting” takes place at this venue, the Guinness Arena of Champions. The view here from the benches is good, although there is accessible premium seating upfront in the covered viewing area. Tickets for the best seats, as Her Majesty sits under the banner in the center, are $10, sold here.

A stable boy in costume with his horse, Belle.

The tournament horses are stabled close to the arena. Their handlers and the knights themselves are happy to meet well-wishers before their three afternoon shows: 12:30, 3:00, and 5:30. Each show is one-half hour. The ORF website states that this show is not choreographed.

Dame Jessica poses with her horse Belle before the jousting

Dame Jessica and her horse Belle will joust in today’s tournament. The jousting is real, and sometimes the knights are knocked from their mounts. Before the first show is a great time to head to the arena, perhaps an hour ahead of time, to meet the competitors in the stable.

The stands at the arena are full.

By quarter past noon the seats for the 12:30 jousting show were mostly full. The lawn off to the right was standing room only. An ORF vendor at center sells giant kosher dill pickles for three dollars each. He tells pickle jokes to entice customers to purchase his snack.

Sir Patrick shows off his stuff.

Patrick is introduced as the Queen’s reigning champion, but she’s looking for a new one. Who will it be? There are three knights competing today, and they all wear full armor and carry a lance. There will be tests of skill as well as lance-to-lance combat.

Sir Thomas and Dame Jessica are in combat.

Sir Thomas and Dame Jessica are closing in on each other, and Dame Jessica will fall from her horse. Not to worry, she will earn recognition from Her Majesty at the end of the tournament. Sir Patrick will remain the Queen’s reigning champion as he will be victorious in all contests.

The inside of the front gate.

Jousting is done for now, and it’s time to leave Elizabethan England and go back to the year 2022. Home is an hour away. The front gate leads out to Willy Nilly on the Wash, where all of society is coming and going.

Here is where the hand stamps are.

Leaving the festival? Get a hand-stamp even if you’re certain you are not coming back. The stamp goes on the inside of the right wrist, takes no time at all, and will get you back in if your plans change. ORF is open until 7 pm.

People are still lining up for tickets.

Paper tickets are sold here, and the queues move quickly. A regular adult 13+ ticket is $28; tickets are not dated. Military/first responder and senior tickets are $25; this price is only available at the ticket booth. What’s the best way to get the most out of the festival and all the activities? Read the whole website.

Boba Fett and a pink dinosaur come into the festival

The fun spills out into the parking lot. Although most folks wear costumes as each weekend has a theme, dressing up isn’t necessary. When coming in for the day, take a photo of the numbered banner over the row where parked. That makes finding the car much easier.


Maypole dancing at the Ohio Renaissance Festival


Human chess at the Ohio Renaissance Festival


Barbarians at the Ohio Renaissance Festival


Sirens singing at the Ohio Renaissance Festival


Jousting at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

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