2022 marked the Minnesota Renaissance Festival's 51st Season and anyone who has gone this year or in the past, knows how big this experience can be. So big that it might not even be back next year because of several issues.

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Mama Zee is not going to like to hear that. For years my mom has made it down at least one weekend, if not more, in costume to visit the every popular Minnesota Renaissance Festival. I myself finally made it down for the first time this year. Visited one weekend with my boyfriend, brother and sister-in-law on a Saturday and I will say, the drive and traffic congestion was the topic on the drive in.

My Brother, Sister-in-Law, Boyfriend and Me (Megan Zee) at the MN Renaissance Festival this year PC: Megan Zee/TSM
My Brother, Sister-in-Law, Boyfriend and Me (Megan Zee) at the MN Renaissance Festival this year PC: Megan Zee/TSM

We clearly aren't the only ones who took note. Saw this post on reddit:

and knew I needed to do some investigating on the matter.

Turns out, that and many issues were brought up in November when the Scott County officials met and conducted a public hearing to discuss whether or not to revoke the license to Mid-America Festivals, who runs the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, due to several permit violations. The biggest one being reported on minutes of the meeting;

No. 23 by overestimating and misrepresenting the number of parking spaces available on-site for the 2022 season causing traffic congestion off-site resulting in patrons parking on city streets, and other off-site locations then walking down state highways to enter the festival by foot

Out of 30 conditions it appears at least four were violated. Several and I mean SEVERAL comments came from the public, business owners, residents, vendors and more during the presentation. With many for not revoking the license and quite a few as well who are FOR revoking the license.

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Comments for not revoking include:

Mark Goldfarb, who owns Catskill Mountain Moccasins and makes a living selling at festivals like Minnesota Renaissance shared;

he supports ten families across the United States and ascertains that Minnesota Renaissance is the "holy grail" of such events and to close it would be detrimental to many.

Also for not revoking the permit was Lois Dave, a Food Vendor at the Festival and,

Ms. Davis stated that closing the festival would greatly harm her and her family's income. She believes the issue is the Global Positioning Systems taking people the incorrect routes.


Comments FOR revoking include:

A member of the Louisville Township, Don Regnier, was one of a few for shutting down the festival, saying he,

does not feel this is a new problem with the traffic but an ongoing one and has offered to work with MidAmerica staff to no avail to come up with solutions for the heavy traffic. He feels the County's only option is to revoke the permit.

Those who live close to the festival, probably deal with the most inconvenience and Joey Smith shared his feelings saying,

his family cannot leave their house on weekends because of the festival's traffic and if they must it's 2-3 hours to get home going short distances. He worked at the festival as a young man and thinks it's a great place but also feels it must be forced to make changes by being shut down until it does.

For more comments on both sides, read more HERE on the minutes from the meeting. What was concluded during this meeting though, will the festival remain or not? We will have to find out at a later date as it was motioned "to table action until January 17, 2023". In the mean time, what do you think should happen to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival?

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Now that I have experienced and understand it's charm, I would hate to see it go, as it is a staple adventure to the state and hope that something can be figured out to make everyone happy. In the mean time I'll sit here and ponder on this throne I found there:

Image Credit: Megan Zee/TSM
Image Credit: Megan Zee/TSM


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