The Texas Renaissance Festival’s king and queen have issued a decree that the 45th season of the nation’s largest and most acclaimed Renaissance-themed event will be more entertaining than ever. This year’s Texas Renaissance Festival opens Oct. 5 and runs nine weekends, in addition to Thanksgiving Friday, through Dec. 1. Revelers will delight in food and drink from around the world, 19 stages of entertainment and music acts, and games and rides for patrons of all ages. Hundreds of vendors from across the country will also sell their wares on the festival grounds.

The 45th season will feature nine themed weekends, including Oktoberfest, 1001 Dreams, Barbarian Invasion, Pirate Adventure, All Hallows Eve, Heroes and Villains, Highland Fling and Celtic Christmas. A special themed weekend Nov. 2-3, Return to the Renaissance, celebrates the festival’s 45th anniversary and takes a nostalgic look back at the festival’s beginnings.

Festival goers can join in the merriment of new entertainment this season with Opal and Jade, a bawdy, singing sister act, and Full Armored Combat, where knights battle each other for glory in full suits of medieval armor with weaponry.

New games added this year include the Cliffhangers Challenge, which tests participants’ strength and endurance, while DaVinci Arcade focuses on intelligence with science-based period games.

The king and queen invite lords and ladies to purchase a Royal Season Pass to commemorate the 45th festival anniversary. The pass includes admission to all 19 days of the festival, preferred parking access, a souvenir program, admission to the festival’s After Dark venue for adults 21 and older, and discounts for camping and the Dragonslayer gift shop. The Royal Season Pass is available online until Sept. 30 for $299.95 plus taxes and fees.

Reduced-price tickets for this year’s festival are available in advance at Costco and Groupon. Tickets are also available online at TexRenFest.com and at the gate for $34 per person for ages 13 and older and $17 per person for ages 5 to 12. Children under 4 are always free, while children under 12 are admitted free to the festival every Sunday. General parking is free.

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