Lore comes to life at the Michigan Renaissance Festival

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published August 17, 2016

 Avery Laabs, of Bloomfield Hills, was finally tall enough for the giant trampolines during last year’s Michigan Renaissance Festival.

Avery Laabs, of Bloomfield Hills, was finally tall enough for the giant trampolines during last year’s Michigan Renaissance Festival.

Photo provided by Michaela Laabs


HOLLYGROVE — Michaela Laabs, of Bloomfield Hills, is a mother of two, with another one on the way. With her due date just around the corner, her little ones are anxious about their new sibling’s arrival — for a very specific reason.

“They keep asking, ‘Will we still be able to go to the Renaissance Festival?’” said Laabs with a laugh. “My husband keeps telling them he’ll push me around in a wheelchair if he needs to. We’re going.”

Laabs and her family are just one of thousands who look forward each year to the annual Michigan Renaissance Festival in Holly. The event is approaching four decades of 16th-century fun with entertainment, food, shopping and more set in a rustic 17-acre village.

“We go every year. We take the kids, all of us dress up; it’s a big, fun family thing we like to do,” she said. “There are certain shows we see every year: We love seeing Rogue Blades, and we see Ded Bob every year. He’s hilarious. And I like the shopping, but my husband hates it.”

Kim Heidger, marketing manager for the Michigan Renaissance Festival, said there are tons of favorite attractions that Michiganders come back to see when the event reopens late each summer. But the lords and ladies at the festival are always working to keep things new and exciting for guests.

“First off, we’ve extended our wine tastings to every weekend of the festival, not just the last four weekends,” Heidger said. “We’ve got new wineries coming in as well. And we do have an all-new event called Royal Painting with Picasso’s Grapevine, which will be one of those wine and painting-type of events, and we’ll have a new painting each weekend.”

There’s also a new steampunk-themed cocktail party, a Lego-building competition and a Dancing with the Royals renaissance dance tutorial.

“Some things, like the Gears, Gadgets and Glam steampunk cocktail party, cost extra. But a lot of the events are free with entry,” Heidger said. “There’s a pretty hefty mix of things that are paid for and not paid for. In reality, you could spend hours at this show and not spend any other money than what you paid to get in, and for food and drinks if you choose to buy it.”

There’s a children’s area devoted to fairies, which is a favorite for Laabs’ kiddos. Her 7-year-old looks forward to having tea with the winged creatures.

Heidger said that’s just one of more than 50 free kids activities on-site for families to enjoy.

Everything kicks off this weekend on Aug. 20, and continues each weekend — including Labor Day — through Oct. 2.

Laabs has her wench attire ready to go, and her husband is getting the cape ready on his pirate costume. Whether they go as a family of four or five, it’s an event they’re not likely to miss.

“It’s the whimsy and the fantasy of it. It’s an easy activity that we can all do, and the kids love it. They’re tired by the end of the day, so they sleep well after,” she said.

Discounted tickets for the Michigan Renaissance Festival are available at several retailers throughout metro Detroit, and there are plenty of chances to win free tickets by following the Michigan Renaissance Festival or C & G Newspapers on Facebook.

For more information, visit www.MichRenFest.com.

The Michigan Renaissance Festival is located at 12600 Dixie Highway in Holly.

Want six free tickets to the Michigan Renaissance Festival? Enter our contest before Sept. 5 for a chance to win.