Event Duration: June 4-5, 2022

From knights clad in plated armor to stories told in spoonerisms, the 21st Annual Siouxland Renaissance Festival has something for every lord, lady, and fair patron.

For the weekend of June 4-5, grab your sense of adventure, throw on your traveling shoes, and come Play in the Past at W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds in Sioux Falls.

Event Times

*The Siouxland Renaissance Festival takes place rain or shine.

Saturday || 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday || 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

1. Cheer on a Knight’s Honor at a Joust.

Twice daily, knights in full armor will mount their warhorses to joust.

“It’s a whole show. Two to four champions of the realm ride forth to challenge in full armored combat,” said Kari Blom, Siouxland Renaissance Association development committee chair. “Whoever has the most points at the end is the winner of the joust.”

The crowd is encouraged to cheer loudly for their champion to entice him to victory. 

“Sometimes the knight will get knocked off their horse,” said Blom. “If this happens, the knights either joust for more points or switch to hand-to-hand combat with shields and swords.

2. Play in the Past in the Children’s Realm

In the Children’s Realm, kids can try jousting for themselves—on a much smaller scale, of course. They choose a noble stuffed steed, arm themselves with a colored pool noodle, and race down toward the opposing knight.

“We have children’s area games such as Giant Jenga, marble games, and a ton of fun games that involve small to larger groups,” said Blom.

Adults can always learn the games as well as pick up some items from child-centered vendors.

“We have a scavenger hunt that goes on throughout festival,” said Blom, noting that it takes place at Questers’ Court

Children and adults alike can explore the festival realm by discovering green dragon flags on characters and vendor tents. Explorers answer questions and complete quests, earning beads to turn in for treasures.

Mustafa Ali and all of his musical talents are at the festival for the kids’ entertainment.

Lyrique the Mermaid is in the Children’s Realm ,” said Blom. “She is wonderful at storytelling and answering all of the children’s questions about being a mermaid.”

She’s located right off of the Mythical Garden, where you can find even more creatures.

“You will find a variety of fabulously mythical creatures, including  centaurs, dragons, fawns, and fairies,” said Blom.

“There’s a lot of entertainment for the kids, but there’s a lot to do for adults as well.” – Kari Blom

3. Learn Something New

Terpsichory, a dance group, will be present at the festival, performing timely dances and taking the time to teach those present some simple steps to dancing from the era.

Try your hand at learning era fighting skills from the Twin Cities Wyverns: Armored Combat league. 

Herr Karl and Company 15th Century Knights will teach knights in the path to knighthood,” said entertainment committee chair Deb Johnson.

They’ll talk about the steps to knighthood, the code of chivalry, and the parts of a knight’s armor.

And one of best things to try at the festival is activating a trebuchet, sending a water jug soaring through the air and into a field at the pull of a string.

“There’s also warhorse rides available. So if you want to get on an armored warhorse, you can ride one while someone holds on to lead you around.” – Kari Blom

4. Experience Entertainment That’s Rated R(enaissance)

Though this is a family event, among the eight stages of entertainment, adult-only entertainment isn’t hard to find.

In the Pub Tent, there’s a stage that has many performances throughout the day like The Dregs show. And as the name suggests, you can find craft beer, wine, and mead to sip on under the tent’s red and white stripes.

“Everything in the Dragon Event Tent is adult, don’t be fooled by the time of day,” said Johnson.

One of the bigger acts of this year is the Tortuga Twins

“They are a huge act. They are a comedy interaction group that is just hilarious. They will make fun of each other and bring people up on stage,” said Blom.

The trio brings plenty of laughter to the festival.
“This year we have Rogue’s Daughters, Barátok Belly Dance, Naughty Bawdy Brigade, and the R-rated Tortuga Twins Sword Fighting and Stupidity Show,” said Johnson.

Don’t Starve

With wandering food vendors and various food trucks, there is plenty to keep your belly from rumbling including turkey legs and the Pickle Preacher’s barrel.

5. Spend Some Coin on Merchant Memorabilia

Whether it’s hot and humid or brisk and rainy, here’s always an air conditioned building with some Vendor Village booths to browse while you escape the elements. Filled from end to end, vendor booth types inside the expo building often vary, but there are some mainstays.

Weapons of the Wood is always in there, and we have Silk Route Trader,” said Blom. 

Vendors offer jewelry, handcrafted items, bags, costume weapons, corsets, armor, honey, and more.

Outside on the grounds, you’ll find more Vendor Village booths selling goods and educational encampments like the blacksmith or the Viking Village.

The third group of vendors is within the Children’s Realm.

“You’ll find more children-based vendors like fairy wings, candy, puzzles, bean bag boards, and more children’s crafts.”

For more information, visit siouxlandrenfest.com.

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