Time Travel Survival Guide to the Louisiana Renaissance Festival by Trey Guillotine

Trey Guillotine, Staff Writer

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Time travel can be tricky. Venturing into the past is rife with dangers where even the slightest change to history can result in damages to the timelines, paradoxes and the risk of becoming your own grandparent. But fear not, for this is the comprehensive survival guide for traveling back in time to the Louisiana Renaissance Festival. 

Step 1: Planning. Before traveling back in time, you should plan your trip accordingly. After all, you don’t want to end up in the wrong time period. The LA Ren Fest is celebrating its 20th year in 2019 and takes place between Nov. 2 and Dec. 8 in Hammond, Louisiana. Every weekend has its own theme, such as Celtic, Time Travelers, and Pirates and Heroes. Over the month-long festival, each themed weekend offers different sights and costumes, which brings us to our next step. 

Step 2: Wardrobe. The LA Ren Fest is meant to emulate the 16th Century English village of Albright, which means wearing modern clothes and accessories would not only be out of place, but hazardous to disrupting the time ways. You don’t want to be the cause of Hitler getting a cell phone, do you? If you plan to dress up in period clothing, the theme of the weekend is a hint at how you should prepare your costume. For example, during Pirate’s weekend, get out your eye patches, hooks, and peg legs and enjoy some rum with your fellow scallywags and landlubbers. 

Step 3: Attending. Now that you’ve put your time coordinates into the TARDIS and are dressed appropriately, you next have to prepare how you’ll interact with the locals. Throughout your visit, you’ll come into contact with a number of characters from chivalrous knights, fancy-pants nobles and badger-crotched pirates. They’re more than happy to welcome you into Albright with open arms and entertain you throughout your visit. The LA Ren Fest hosts a number of shows and exhibits. You’ll see acrobatic shows and fire-breathers, bards dancing and singing, and shops to buy various clothing, goods, and accessories to take back to 2019. But the festival isn’t all fun and games. Creatures both villainous and magical alike have come to join in the fun. If you fear facing a monstrous ogre, you can practice your archery and axe throwing skills so you’re prepared for whatever danger crosses your path. 

Step 4: Food. Even time travelers need to eat. Throughout the village are shops and stalls selling food and libations for you to try. Surprisingly, Albright’s 16th-century diet isn’t that different from 2019. You can get pretzels and popcorn to snack on, fried chicken, burgers, hot dogs, and even nachos, with cakes and other pastries for dessert. If you’re ready to get loosy-goosy, there’s more than one tavern and beer maiden to sell you wine, mead, and ye old Budweiser. One drink, in particular, you should get, and a personal favorite, is the Wizard’s Wine. While not an alcoholic drink, it’s a delicacy of Albright and can come in a blue souvenir glass bottle that includes free refills. 

Step 5: Return Trips. The village of Albright wraps around a large lake and has too many things to do in one trip. Fortunately, your time machine can take you to and from Albright the entire month of the festival so you can take your time experiencing everything it has to offer. “My best piece of advice is to attend multiple days,” suggests Jess Farizo-Guidry, UNO alum and time traveler extraordinaire. “I think people rush through it trying to squeeze everything into one day. You get a much different experience if you take your time.” Not only does every weekend have its own theme, but different shows and performers come and go over the entire month. Those attending the last weekend of the festival are treated with Albright’s closing ceremonies and a spectacular fireworks display. 

Louisiana’s Renaissance Festival is an annual event that’s fun for the whole family. Even if you’re going without a costume and just want to have a fun day with your loved ones, Albright serves as a wonderful escape from modern-day to a time when the world was so loud, but for the sounds of merriment.

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