A Jolly Good Time at Muskogee’s Renaissance Fair

The Castle at Muskogee, Oklahoma

Even dark skies can’t keep us away!

Walking through the gates at the Castle in Muskogee, Oklahoma during its annual Renaissance Festival truly feels like stepping back into a long ago era. As far as the eye can see, costumed cast members man food and crafts booths, entertain with song and/or musical instruments, and roam around while interacting with guests, often whom are in period costume themselves.

Oklahoma Renaissance Festival 2014

Castle Guards

Oklahoma Renaissance Festival 2014

Colorful (yet solemn) hooded gentlemen

Oklahoma Renaissance Festival 2014

The King and a young admirer

I’ve attended several “Ren Fairs” over the years, but the one at Muskogee is one of my favorites. Guests and staff alike come ready to play, good-naturedly talking with or shouting funny insults at each other – all while never breaking character.

Oklahoma Renaissance Festival 2014
As for entertainment, there are tons of juggling, magician, acrobat, birds-of-prey, comedy, pet, and musical productions put on throughout the day at 15 different stages peppered throughout the wooded grounds of “Castleton.” This year also featured a show at the “Mermaid Grotto.”

Plus, the Royal Parade is always a delight…

Oklahoma Renaissance Festival 2014

The Royal Parade, including the Queen herself

Oklahoma Renaissance Festival 2014

Let the jousting begin!

But my favorite part this time (and the last time I came 4 years ago) was the live jousting shows at the large, cheering crowd-filled arena.

On the drive over to attend on Saturday, I was a little nervous about the weather and… it did what it threatened to do, pouring down a drenching rain an hour after we got there.

However, after we ate lunch and caught some shows inside the castle structure itself, the rain stopped long enough to let the jousting program proceed as planned.

Oklahoma Renaissance Festival 2014

“Arena Wenches,” standing on the guardrails to rally the crowd

Like last time, my favorite knight was there and ready to perform. With a quick wit and smile, a beautiful horse, and deadly precision on the pre-event obstacle course, Sir Thomas definitely had me cheering for him against the equally talented Sir Richard.

Oklahoma Renaissance Festival 2014

Sir Thomas (yay!)

Oklahoma Renaissance Festival 2014

And Sir Richard, the Brave

After both men promised those in the royal box that this would be a friendly demonstration with no blood shed, the joust began. During the first 2 passes, the tips of the lances bumped. But they were crushed during the last pass.

Oklahoma Renaissance Festival 2014
Alas, after the court ruled that it was a draw, the 2 men got into a fist fight, rolling through the course fence and vowing vengeance on each other. The whole thing ended with the proclamation that there would be a “joust to the death” later in the day and all parties rode off to the sounds of horns decreeing that it would be so. In other words, it was a jolly good show! :-)

Here’s a short clip I took during the event…

Another fun part of the day was meeting the Festival’s King Francis I. Although after I asked for his picture, he did get a little frisky. Ha!

Oklahoma Renaissance Festival 2014

Oklahoma Renaissance Festival 2014

He actually rubbed my hand on his beard! *blushing*

Overall, this was a super fun and very immersive day. While eating, a costumed performer asked to sit at our table and then proceeded to entertain us with story after story in between taking bites of his lunch.

16.longStiltsManAnd while resting on a bench, my Dad was kept amused by the constant shout outs by a nearby pickle vendor. Amongst other things, he promised that his strawberry infused pickles could make skin softer and that his pickled eggs were actually Targaryen dragon eggs from Game of Thrones lore.

Even on our way out, I saw two young men get talked into participating in a “Scottish bellydance,” saw a magician change a small pebble into a large crystal marble for a young teen, and I got into a semi-serious conversation with a rather dapper-looking gentleman with a large feather in his cap over whether “kerfuffle” was a better, more dignified word than “chaos” or “commotion.”

Although I went home a bit damp and muddy from the rain, it was definitely worth it – as were my sore sides from all the laughter! The Fair continues through next weekend, so if you have a chance, it really is worth stopping by. Just make sure you go in ready for a good time!

NOTE: Prices are $14.95 for adults at the door or $12.95 if ordered online; seniors over the age of 55 are $12.95 and $10.95, respectively; and kids are 7.95 and 5.95. Close parking is $5, with all other parking free.


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  1. This is certainly a time where everyone can let down their hair and just go with the flow and have a lot of fun doing so. It’s also so entertaining just watching the many costumed people (both employees and visitors) in bold, colorful garb. It’s a day to have fun and leave your seriousness at home.

    1. Great points! It’s a lot of fun to watch but even more fun to interact — and the cast seems to love when guests participate in the silliness/fun/adventure.

    1. Thanks for the compliment Darlene! I really appreciate it. And yep, the whole day made me smile (even through the rain!)

  2. Reading your comments/description reminds me of the Boar’s Head Feast(only open 1 week per year) I attended during my college years.
    The Castle must be the ultimate extension of renaissance style activities. I can feel that I would love it! Thanks for the recommend.

    1. Oooh, I’ve never heard of the Boar’s Head Feast but it sounds interesting! And yep, I think you’d love The Castle too. :-)

  3. Wow, the costumes are movie-grade…absolutely beautiful. Imagine the number of hours spent making them. Very impressive. This event is already on my 2015 calendar. It looks and sounds like great good fun.

    1. Aren’t they magnificent?? I was quite impressed (and worried as they were being dragged through the mud. Yikes!) I’m definitely ready to go back next year — but hopefully the rain will hold off then!

  4. I love a great Ren Fair. There is one in Ohio that my family has enjoyed and another in Pennsylvania that is pretty amazing. I’ve not gone for several years, but last time my family stepped back in time we donned period clothes as well. It was great.

    1. How fun that you all dressed up too! My brother and his wife do that whenever they go and have such a great time but I wasn’t quite brave enough. Maybe next year. :-)

  5. Oh, good job, Deborah! And it sounds like the folks who put on your festival have the whole thing so well organized! I don’t think your jousters are from War Horse Farm here in Sarasota–the trappings on the horses and the faces on the knights don’t look familiar! :-)

    Thanks again for stopping by my blog, too!

    1. It’s so interesting that trappings on horses and knights can help pinpoint information. I never realized there was so much that went into all of this, although I guess I should have. It really is thrilling to watch — and I’m sure a LOT of work to make sure it all works out correctly.

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