Review: OK Renaissance Festival is a trip back in time 

I am wearing a long green dress. After traversing across a dusty field toward a large castle, I am greeted at the gate by two friendly women wearing flowy shirts with corsets and long skirts. After being granted entrance at the gate, I stepped into a rambling village. There are a blacksmith’s forge, food stalls, shops with clothing and trinkets, and across the way I can see the outline of the actual castle. Visitors to the village walk around and explore this fascinating world, despite the early summer heat. 

Am I actually back in 16th century England? No, I am at the Oklahoma Renaissance Festival, at the Castle of Muskogee. And you can be too! 

“Your Gateway to Another World” – The Oklahoma Renaissance Festival has returned to the Castle of Muskogee. (Photo by Sam Levrault)

Journey to the Ren Faire  

This all started last year, when my mom and I drove past a billboard advertising the Oklahoma Renaissance Festival at the Castle of Muskogee. She pointed it out and said, “That would be fun to go to.” I agreed, and my plans spiraled out from there – I thought, That would be super fun. And then – If I go, I would want to dress up. I’d want to make my own outfit that looks like what people wore back then. Although Renaissance faire costumes do not have to be historically accurate, as they are often a mix of history and fantasy with a few modern conveniences thrown in, I am glad that I started out aiming for historical accuracy. My research led me to discover a previously unknown passion for learning about historical costuming. I checked out several books from the library, read some blogs, and watched YouTube videos. (There is a surprisingly large community of historical fashion enthusiasts and clothing makers, and I am now proud to count myself, in a small way, as part of their number.) 

So, determined to make my own dress, I got a pattern, some fabric, and took some sewing classes. Many thanks go to Ms. Mary Perisho, my teacher and seamstress extraordinaire, for her assistance and sharing of sewing knowledge. She walked me through each step, and it is thanks to her that what I made ended up looking like an actual dress. (Perisho works out of a studio in Whitty Books, a small independent bookstore near Kendall-Whittier Square (2306 E. Admiral Blvd.), and can also be found online here). 

The finished product is a medieval style kirtle, or dress, complete with a fan and pocket watch hanging from the belt borrowed from my mom. (Photo by Shannon Ray)

At the OK Renaissance Festival 

The Oklahoma Renaissance Festival takes place at the Castle of Muskogee every year. This is its 27th year. Billed as “Six weekends of merriment,” the event runs through the weekend of June 4. 

While the location of the festival is called the Castle, the event mainly takes place in the village-like outdoor area around the castle. Visitors (many of whom come in costume, although it is not required) can roam among the shops that sell everything from kilts to helmets to giant turkey legs. Similar to at the State Fair, shows happen at designated times in certain areas, and people can stop to watch. There are acrobatics shows, falconry demonstrations, jugglers, plays, jousting, and more. One of the acrobatics’ shows was something called the “Wheel of Death.” No need to fear, it is not as terrifying as it sounds. But it can be dangerous for the man on it. 

An acrobat dazzles the crowd by jumping rope atop the Wheel of Death. (Photo by Travis Grether, courtesy of Google Reviews)

One thing that was nice to note was that there are a lot of benches and seating areas. This can be very helpful if you need to stop and adjust your outfit, eat a snack, or simply take a break. And as we head into summer, those breaks are often necessary. Bringing or buying a water-bottle is a good idea as well. A wide variety of food is also sold at the event – everything from funnel cakes to turkey legs! 

So please, plan to visit the Oklahoma Renaissance Festival next year. You will even have a whole year to work on your costume! 

One-day tickets are $24.95 for adults (age 18+), $14.95 for children (12 and under), and $22.95 for students (ages 13 – 17) or senior citizens (65+).  

More information about the Renaissance Festival can be found at, and tickets can be purchased here

Also, for information about the themed weekends, see

Visitors to the Oklahoma Renaissance Festival at the Castle of Muskogee can rove around a 1500s-style English castle and village, complete with shops and food stands. (Photo by Sarah Ray)
A majestic and royal peacock struts around the menagerie outside of the castle. (Photo by Sam Levrault)
Marco the violin player performs with the musical group “Music the Gathering” at the Oklahoma Renaissance Festival. To see a full schedule of musical acts at the festival location, click here. (Photo by Sam Levrault)
Several musicians perform in the Celtic Quarter at the Castle of Muskogee. (Photo by Sam Levrault)
Two knights show off their sword fighting techniques at the Tournament Arena. (Photo by Sam Levrault)
A heroic knight prepares to engage in a jousting match, with a lance and shield at the ready. (Photos by Sam Levrault)
The ‘Heroic Knights of Old’ perform twice daily at the Tournament Arena at the Castle of Muskogee. (Photo by Sam Levrault)
Horses carry the knights around the tournament arena as they engage in a joust. (Photo by Sam Levrault)
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