Waxahachie is a travel destination which attracts people from all over the world with its large scale community events, warm weather, and 19th Century architecture. This North Texas community lies roughly 30 miles south of Downtown Dallas, and is in proximity to most activities within the Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan Area. Whether you’re looking to go fishing at Lake Waxahachie or on a tour The Munster Mansion, Waxahachie has something for you.
The Scarborough Renaissance Festival is the largest event in Ellis County, and will take place April 8 - May 29 at the festival grounds two miles southwest of Downtown Waxahachie. Patrons will encounter an all-ages spectacular set in the 16th Century, complete with music, sword fighting, dancing, fire blowing, jousting, and more. Children will get the opportunity to meet a mermaid at the Mermaid Lagoon, play a variety of fun games, and even be knighted by the festival court. Food and drink vendors are located all over the park and feature the festival’s ever-popular seasoned turkey legs and much more. We got the chance to interview Helaine B. Thompson, Director of Communications at the event, to talk about this unique family-friendly adventure.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
HT: This will be the 37th season of the Scarborough Renaissance Festival. It's a family tradition where adults who attended as children are now bringing their children to experience our unique event.
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?
HT: We draw more than 200,000 attendees over the course of eight weeks.
RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?
HT: We draw families with children, couples, and groups of friends. The event is all about bringing people together in a fun and engaging environment.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
HT: We feel that no matter who is in your group, everyone will find something to enjoy at Scarborough Renaissance Festival.
RAL: Take me through the activities of a day at the event.
HT: We have 24 stages that feature a variety of entertainment options. Some of the live acts include juggling, acrobats, sword fighting, fire blowing, comedy, jousts, and music. Children's activities include a full Mermaid Lagoon, a children's knighting ceremony, petting zoo, games of skill, and Renaissance rides (human powered rides). For adults, multiple stages carry our PG-16 rating for content and those over 21 years old can visit the 11 pubs and taverns along with Daily Beer & Wine Tasting Events.
Scarborough Renaissance Festival is considered one of the largest Juried Craft Shows in the country that features 200 shops of exquisite crafts and handmade treasures along with artisan demonstrations throughout each day of the Festival. Patrons will have the chance to visit with many of the artisans about their crafts and the wonderful pieces they create.
RAL: What dining options will patrons encounter?
HT: We have a great selection of food, and many options are outside the realm of traditional festival fare. We sell over 20 tons of turkey legs each year; they are slow roasted for 12 hours, and covered in a special blend of seasonings. There are also five full food court areas where attendees can find a variety of options. Patrons can expect handmade pastries from our on-site bakery, handmade pasta from our very own pasta shop, Scottish eggs, fresh fruit, salads, wraps and the largest food on a stick selection in Texas.
RAL: What is the environment like?
HT: It takes patrons on a trip through time to an old English village from the 16th Century. The atmosphere is vibrant, interactive, and a great way to spend an entire day. It's unlike anything else in North Texas!
RAL: What can attendees expect to find for local lodging?
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
HT: Yes, this is the largest event in Ellis County. Visitors and participants alike spend money at local lodging providers, restaurants, shops, and more.
RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?
HT: Yes, each year we open the park for an entire day so schools can come and learn about a variety of different subjects. We also started a local scholarship program for high school students who are interested in performing and the arts. We also give thousands of dollars in donations causes and organizations all over North Texas.
For more information about the Scarborough Renaissance Festival, please visit the event website.