• Avoid peak traffic by arriving at or before 10 a.m. and leaving before 4 p.m. The peak event traffic is from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and again from 5 to 6:30 p.m. You may still incur traffic non-festival related traffic so keep snacks and entertainment in the car for ride just in case.
• It is impossible to see and do it all in one day. A five-hour visit is ample enough time to experience a quality sampling of the festival’s overall offering.
• Festival general policy states that no outside food and beverage is allowed. However, parents/grandparents can bring baby food products, medical dietary foods and one factory-sealed water bottle.
• Bring cash. Many of the games and concessionaires don’t accept credit cards (and the various performers always appreciate tips).
• The festival website provides details on several great ways to save on admission that include discount tickets for seniors, military veterans and several weekends with free admission for children.
• The festival is an outdoor event. Bring sunscreen, wear comfortable shoes and stay hydrated. Consider a small umbrella for shade and avoid wearing perfume and cologne that can attract unwanted flying insects (bug spray helps).
At the festival
• Know the shows. The festival website provides a schedule of event program and map (handed out at the gate). Shows not appropriate for children have a rating of LC, which is short for “Loose Cannon” and means that the shows may contain adult innuendo humor (but no profanity).
• Family-friendly “must see” performances include The Jousting Knights on Horseback, The Ancient Art of Falconry, The Sea Fairies: Swimming Mermaids, The Barely Balanced Acrobats, Gravity Check Jugglers, Gypsy Geoff, and Queen Isabella’s Musicale & Knighting Ceremony.
• For guaranteed seating at the shows, plan to arrive five to 10 minutes early. Arrive 20 minutes early to secure seating at the jousts.
• Start your holiday gift shopping early at the Artisan Marketplace. High quality arts and crafts include blown glass, handmade candles, pottery and jewelry.
• Some food & beverage concessions require standing in multiple lines. Divide and conquer to save time.
• The festival village is shaped like a horseshoe. When you reach the end, a rear exit gate allows for you to take a short stroll immediately back to the front for re-entry (or to the parking lot for departure). Get your hand stamped at exiting if you wish to re-enter.
• There is parking near the front entry for vehicles displaying disability placards. This can sometimes fill up and is another reason for arriving early. The parking is well mowed and groomed farm fields.
• There are wheelchair viewing areas at select performance locations, wheelchair-accessible portable restrooms and wheelchair rentals at the Belrose Costume Rental Shop located just outside the village front gate entrance.
• Much of the festival village is open lanes and fields consisting of mowed lawns, some various grades of gravel, mostly flat with some modest slopes in parts. It is not uncommon for rocks to raise up, tree roots to become exposed, rain erosion to occur, and other naturally occurring conditions. The festival makes a constant effort to keep up and groom the landscape to remove any of these obstacles. If a festival day follows a significant bad weather event, it can sometimes delay this effort and result in the need for a modest avoidance.