LEWISBURG, W.Va. — The West Virginia Renaissance Festival will honor veterans, active-duty service members and first responders during its opening weekend, June 5-6. The festival will provide free admission to those groups as part of the tribute.

“We thank you for your service and look forward to seeing you during our opening Pirate’s Landing theme weekend,” said Dawna Smith, Renaissance Festival spokesperson.

The Renaissance Festival is opening for its third season on June 5, and will be open every weekend in June.

“With acres to roam, it’s the perfect place to spend a fun and safe day outdoors, as you step back in time to experience live jousting where armored knights on horseback compete to be champion or listen to bagpipes and drums resonate through the valley, and harpists play in quiet wooded corners,” Smith said.

Jousting Knight at the West Virginia Renaissance Festival

According to organizers, Renaissance Festivals have a rich and varied history, with many dedicated followers, and have been held nationwide for more than 50 years, but this is the first to be located permanently in West Virginia.  The festival founders have spent their extensive careers being featured and working at similar events around the United States.

“They have brought home the best for the enjoyment of West Virginians, knowing our rich mountain heritage is the perfect place to showcase a historical way of life,” said Smith.

There will be several demonstrations provided throughout the festival, those include:

  • glass blowing
  • Knight Wings demonstration with Master Falconer Ash Cary
  • death defying aerial shows
  • comedy acts
  • sword swallowing
  • juggling

A petting farm, for up close interactions for children of all ages, and a live jousting show, where armored knights on horseback thunder toward each other before the festival crowd, will also be available.

The Festival will be open every weekend in June — Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. —  and is located less than a mile and a half off Exit 161 on I-64 near scenic Lewisburg. For more information regarding schedules and tickets, visit the West Virginia Renaissance Festival website.