Entertainment Information

Travel back to 16th Century England! Enjoy the colorful pageantry of costumed villagers, artisan and musicians, laugh with merry entertainers, and cheer for your favorite knight in a full armoured joust. Castle Gwynn, a full size replica of a twelfth century border castle, welcomes festival-goers to tour the 1st floor and castle grounds. The RoseDan-Freeman Weaponry Collection and Imogene Stones' Tapestry Collection will be on display at the castle. Come share the music, thrill at exciting stage presentations and jousting events, watch the Birds of the Gauntlet, and much more at festive Covington Glen... great entertainment for all ages and a must-see for the entire family.

The year is 1585 and Queen Elizabeth has issued the charter for the founding of an English Colony in the New World. Sir Richard Grenville must select the best of the best from England's citizens to establish a foot-hold in this world of opportunity, but will he himself get to go?

Free Children's Activities at the Festival:

The Tennessee Renaissance Festival strives to be a family venue, and as such we offer a number of free activities for our younger patrons. Our Children's Area is sponsored by Nashville Parent - check out these opportunities for our wee lads and lasses:

  • consult your program for the time and place of the Children's Knighting Ceremony. Young lads and lasses become Ladies and Masters, so raised by Queen Elizabeth as Peers of the Realm of Covington Glen
  • also check your program for the woodland visit of Robin Hood and Maid Marian, who involve the young ones in an interactive stage performance
  • there's our Children's Arts and Crafts area! (It's off to the left when you first come in through the Bridge.)
    Art and Craft supplies are provided by Parent Teacher Store
  • help your child dress the part and enter the Children's Costume Contest at 12:30pm in the Children's Arts and Crafts area.
  • on Pirate's Weekend young buccaneers can swashbuckle their stuff on stage in the pirate costume fashion show
  • and of course, be sure to fill your children's minds with the Castle Gwynn Educational tour (early in the day), and view the Rose-Dan Freeman collection of weaponry, Imogene Stones Tapestry Exhibit, and see the costumed Castle Knights

  • Performers included in the 2013 festival:

    Castle Tours Castle Tours Available from 11am to 3pm each Festival Day. Click on Castle Gwynn Tours for details
    The Royal Joust The Free Lancers: Pure excitement and breathtaking action as fully armored Knights on horseback battle for supremacy on the Tournament Field. This year presents the International Jousting Tourney on May 26, 27 & 28 - athletes from around the world meet in true competition. Rated G.
    Please Note: Under Tennessee Law, an equine professional is not liable for any injury to or the death of a participant in equine
    activities resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities, pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated, title 44, chapter 20.
    The Human Chess Match For the entertainment of the Queen and villagers alike, kings and pawns compete in a game of Human Chess. Sword-fighting and action abound! Rated G
    Birds of the Gauntlet Master Falconer Kitty Tolson-Caroll brings her beautiful and fascinating birds of prey to educate and entertain you. See winged predators swoop in at dazzling speeds to capture food from Kitty’s hand! Rated G.
    Paulo Garbanzo Blending comedy and amazing juggling into a show of death-defying skill, Paolo's supremacy over the laws of physics is not to be challenged! Rated PG
    Note: Paulo Garbanzo will not be appearing on the May 12/13 weekend
    Oops! Comedy Knife Throwing Show Paolo Garbonzo and Giacomo the Jester (of Empty Hats) join forces to hurl razor sharp blades at each other, risking life and limb for the entertainment of their fans! Rated PG
    The Fairies of Covington Glen Meet these mysterious creatures for fun and frivolity throughout the day and around the Festival. They can also be seen in Winter's Garden at 10am, 1:30pm, and 4pm. Rated G

    Axel the Sot He's back and better than ever! Straight from the Poop Deck, this seafaring minstrel is definitely adult comedy and NOT FOR CHILDREN. Bawdy songs, naughty jokes, toasts and stories that make you blush. Also join Axel and the rest of the performers as he MCs the Pub Sing at the end of the day. Axel's first 2 shows are rated PG+; Axel's last 2 are shows rated PG-13+.
    The Da Vinci Brothers Comedy Operas Bob DaVinci takes his audiences on a hilarious ride as they become players in his wacky view of art, history, inventions, culture, and opera parodies. Rated PG
    Empty Hats Unplugged...but Wired. This band of talented musicians comes to our village to amaze audiences with their high energy Celtic music, both traditional and original. Rated G
    Giacomo's Ballads Giacomo of Empty Hats takes the stage by himself, to sing songs from heart. The beauty of love and romance. Rated G
    The Buckle & Swash Show These two hilarious brothers spin tales of pirates, swordfighting and comedy. Rated G
    Royal Improv Comedy Favorite performers from all over the festival come together to spontaneously create comedy from the audience's suggestions. Rated G

    Robin Hood Join Robin Hood and Maid Marian for magical storytelling, featuring audience members in starring roles. Heroes, villains, cheering, screaming, and hilarity ensue! Rated G
    Isaac Fawlkes, Magician Watch Isaac and his sidekick Rocky astound you with feats of magic and comedy. Rated G
    Queen's Knighting Ceremony This free activity is a chance for children of all ages to meet and be knighted Queen Elizabeth herself. Rated G
    Ramblin' Rose Demetrius and friends of Empty Hats put their own special spin on music, to put a song in your heart. Rated G
    The Roses Master musician Michael Rosa is joined by lutist Teddy Johnson. Renaissance musicians who will raise your spirits and raise your smiles. Featured throughout the day, Rated G
    Tea with Lady Ettie Do not let her looks deceive you - Lady Ettie is the unquestioned expert in Renaissance fashion and etiquette - just ask her! Her shows will enlighten and amuse any audience. Rated G

    Entertainment staff: 
    David TempleEntertainment Director - entertainment@tnrenfest.com
    Esther CancasiCast Director
    Darlett SowersCostume Director
    Julia WallCast Director

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