We have been to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival a few times, including a very recent visit, where I outlined five reasons why you should go. One question that often comes up about attending the festival is this: Do you have to wear a costume?
The short answer is: It’s up to you.
If getting dressed up and taking on a new identity for the day is your idea of fun, then by all means, live it up!
If you don’t enjoy dressing up, then don’t.
The Case for Not Dressing Up
Our family is not into dressing up. Not even at Halloween, really. So for us, a day dressing up in Renaissance garb would be uncomfortable. We’d spend so much energy on worrying about how embarrassed we felt that we would not enjoy the experience. But we still love taking in the whole festival. And the appearance of people in modern clothing at the festival does not take away from anyone’s experience.
I will also say that it was fairly muddy the day we went, after a night of heavy rain. A lot of people’s costumes seemed to be getting pretty dirty dragging through the grass and mud. If you’re not keen on dry cleaning your Renaissance garb too often, this might be another reason to wear clothes that are more easy to launder.
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The Case for Dressing Up
Plenty of Renaissance Festival-goers, however, get totally into dressing the part. They love stepping out of their everyday roles and embracing the fun of the costume. And honestly, I (as a non-costumed participant) love seeing all the people who pull out their best Renaissance looks in order to enjoy the festival!
I myself just don’t want to wear a corset.
So fear not, fellow costume-shunner. Costumes are definitely optional (though clothing in general is not optional). There will be plenty of festival goers, including pets, who will bring on the costumes and the fun for your enjoyment.
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