The Renaissance Festival won't have to find a new home for awhile


In news we're assuming was followed by rounds of "Huzzahs!" the Renaissance Festival announced it'll be staying in its Shakopee location for the next few years.

A new lease agreement signed on Thursday allows the festival to remain there for the next four seasons before moving to a new home in 2020, festival operators announced in a press release. Where that new home will be hasn't been determined yet.

“We are grateful for the outpouring of support expressed by our loyal guests and neighbors,” Director of Marketing Deb Schaber said.

Why were they maybe moving?

Land interests – namely a silica sand mining operation on the same grounds that has been encroaching on the parking lot – had given many concern that the Renaissance Festival would have to be moved.

Fans of the festival created a Facebook group called Saved MN Renaissance Festival, and made a Change.org petition calling for the site to be saved and preserved from mining.

"The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is a historical and cultural landmark of the state of Minnesota for almost 40 years and should be preserved as such on the current site of 150 acres for future generations to enjoy the non commercial nature of the festival," the petition read.

It was signed by 1,984 people.

In 2015 Mid-America Festivals, owner and operator of the Renaissance Festival, had looked at four potential new locations, all still in the southwest metro, the Shakopee Valley News reported.

When it starts

The Renaissance Festival sees 300,000 visitors each year, the website says, and it’s grown to be the largest such festival in the United States.

The festival is open weekends from Aug. 20 to Oct. 2, plus Labor Day and Festival Friday, Sept. 30, 2016.

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