Bastrop County Renaissance Festival Draws Thousands of Attendees
Mar 28, 2024

Bastrop County Renaissance Festival Draws Thousands of Attendees

Reporting Texas TV

MCDADE, Texas – The 15th annual Sherwood Forest Faire is open for the season.

Robin Hood’s Spring Faire opened March 2 and runs through April 21 with more than 150 live shows, food and games. The festival is a locally owned medieval-style village 35 miles east of Austin, between McDade and Paige. Opened in 2010, it sits on 25 acres with 100 permanent buildings, including a complete castle.

“I’ve been coming for about five years,” Mitchell Goss said. “It’s a little bit medieval, a little magical. It feels like home.”

Mitchell Goss dresses as an alchemist at the Sherwood Forest Faire in McDade, Texas, on March 23, 2024. He said he’s been coming for five years. (Haley Pacheco/Reporting Texas TV)

UT student Tina Feng and her friends decided to come after receiving free tickets from faire promoters who advertised on campus.

“It’s kinda funny that we’re just cosplaying the 12th century. I didn’t realize it was so popular,” Feng said.

“When I think of the Ren faire, I think of old white people who would go, but honestly, I would see the same amount of people I would see at Six Flags.”

Knights play drums around a campfire at the Sherwood Forest Faire. (Haley Pacheco/Reporting Texas TV)

Shows include jousting, sword-fighting, falconry and more. There are also 170 artisans who have shoppes with pottery, metalwork, art and jewelry.

Michelle Scott has owned The White Pearl jewelry stand for the last five years. She said she originally sold jewelry outside the festival, but the faire offered an opportunity for more exposure and to meet people in a fun way.

“It’s a very friendly environment to all types of people,” Scott said. “But it’s important to know the people that have the shops themselves are very friendly with each other, too. And we are actually a family as well as the people that are coming through the gates.”

Scott said the faire is fun for all ages, but especially families.

Jaime Perez comes to the faire every March with his friends, family and his son Liam.

“We love it,” Perez said. “It’s the perfect family time. We always come with friends, and it’s become the perfect tradition. [Liam] says he looks forward to playing the arcade games and shooting the bow and arrow.”

Guests play a variety of medieval-style games at Arcade DaVinci on March 23, 2024. (Haley Pacheco/Reporting Texas TV)

Jeff Cohen has attended renaissance festivals across the country since 1978. He said he’s come to Sherwood every weekend since its opening.

“In my opinion, it’s the best place,” Cohen said. “I come out here every weekend, and I pretty much don’t miss a day unless the weather’s really, really bad.”

He said he doesn’t find an accepting environment like this everywhere, and that’s why he continues to come back.

“These are my people. These are my chosen family. I’ve been to faires across the country, but Sherwood is special. Sherwood is family,” Cohen said.

Festival workers talk about sword fighting. (Haley Pacheco/Reporting Texas TV)