Fort Bragg Renaissance Fair

Knight after jousting at the Fort Bragg Renaissance Fair.

The Fort Bragg Renaissance Fair has been on my North Carolina Bucket List since we got here! It was one of the first events I discovered when I was researching the area and I couldn’t wait to experience it firsthand.

The Fort Bragg Renaissance Fair is fun for the whole family! | Finding Mandee

Life had other plans, though. Fort Bragg hosts this event at Smith Lake each year in September. Our first September here, my husband was gone TDY and I didn’t want to go without him, so I put it off for a year. During our second September at Fort Bragg, Hurricane Florence swept through and cancelled the fair.

The third time was the charm though and we finally made it to the Fort Bragg Renaissance Fair and had so much fun!

What is the Renaissance Fair?

We had never been to a Renaissance Fair before, so we didn’t know what to expect. The most I knew about Renaissance Fairs was learned from Luke’s crazy sister on Gilmore Girls.

(Liz and T.J at their Renaissance themed wedding.)

Going to the Renaissance Fair was like taking a step back in time. There were booths of handmade wares, food (turkey legs, anyone?), games, music, exhibits, and strange performances.

Everyone working a booth was dressed in period attire and spoke using Old English. They really did an excellent job of staying in character and ‘huzzah-ing’ at all the right moments.

Make Time for a Performance!

Prior to the fair, the MWR posted a schedule of events on their Facebook page. Workers also gave us handouts with schedules on them in the parking lot. I wanted to see at least one performance while we were there, but they were so cool that we ended up watching 3!

Right as we walked in the Sword Swallower was beginning his performance and we were hooked! We were all disgusted and fascinated by this man who could shove a wavy sword down his throat and not die. It was insane!

Master David - Sword Swallower at the Fort Bragg Renaissance Fair.
(Master David – Sword Swallower)

We also watched Master Flabbergast the Magician. He put on a very kid-centered show, complete with his puppet friend that assisted him with all of his tricks. It was funny and the girls seemed to really enjoy it.

Master Flabbergast the Magician at the Fort Bragg Renaissance Fair.
(Master Flabbergast – Magician)

The last performance we saw was the jousting by Roundtable Productions. Honestly, we didn’t expect much. We figured it would be ‘pretend’ or that they would use something soft and flexible to imitate what real jousting would have been like. But we were wrong!

These performers surprised us with REAL jousting! We heard the hits and even saw one of the wooden lances splinter into pieces during a pass. It was quite impressive and I’m so glad we were able to watch it.

Knight after jousting at the Fort Bragg Renaissance Fair.
(Knight after his jousting demonstration.)

It’s More Fun If You Dress Up!

You definitely don’t have to dress up in medieval garb or costumes to go to the Renaissance Fair, but it would be more fun if you did!

We saw so many people dressed up for the fair. It was hard to tell if they were there working a booth or if they were just there for the fun like us. We saw Vikings, knights, Kings and Queens, Princes and Princesses, fairies, wizards, elves, a few pirates, and a Romeo and Juliet couple.

The girls were so disappointed that they didn’t wear a princess dress after seeing some other kids in costume. I wish I had known that it was ‘a thing’ to dress up, because I definitely would have let them wear a costume.

(This photo is courtesy of the Fay Observer.)

It’s Affordable!

One of the most surprising things I took away from the Fort Bragg Renaissance Fair is that it’s very affordable!

Usually, when you go to a fair, of any kind, you can expect to spend at LEAST $100, but that wasn’t the case at the Renaissance Fair.

The cost for admission is $10 per carload and there are plenty of free activities. All of the performances are free. The MWR also provides bouncy castles and a craft booth that are also free.

The girls both participated in a sword fight with a knight and my husband and I took turns throwing axes. Each activity was between $3-5. We stopped by a couple of the booths and bought both girls a little trinket each.

We spent less than $50 for a whole day of fun at the Fort Bragg Renaissance Fair. I highly recommend going if you ever get the chance.

If we have another September left at Fort Bragg, we will definitely be there!

The Fort Bragg Renaissance Fair is fun for the whole family! | Finding Mandee

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