Minnesota Ren Fest Kicks Off with Italian Carnivale

For all the patrons whose mothers yelled at them for slurping their noodles at the dinner table, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival has a contest for you this weekend!

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The will kick off its 2012 season on August 18 and 19 with the theme Italian Carnivale!

The Italian-themed weekend will host events such as Pet Fest, Bocce Ball Tournaments, a Spaghetti Eating Contest, Arabian Horse Show and a Garlic Farmer. 

Held in the Special Events Field, Pet Fest will host more than 40 vendors offering natural pet food, customized pet tags, tips on animal health care and so much more.  In between the Wiener Dog Races and Pet Costume Contests, patrons will have the opportunity to learn about our feathered friends and animal emergency during daily seminars from vendors.  The true animal lovers can venture over to the Joust Track and watch the riders of the Minnesota Half Arabian Horse Association put on a show.

Now, it wouldn’t be a true Italian weekend without some pasta! For all the patrons whose mothers yelled at them for slurping their noodles at the dinner table, we have a contest for you! See if you have what it takes to be the fastest noodle-slurper in the Realm during the kids and adults Spaghetti Eating Contest hosted by Buca di Beppo. Winners in each contest will win a prize!

No pasta dish is complete without a dash of garlic and Susan Johnson, a local garlic farmer, will be educating patrons on the differences between garlic, how to grow it and what garlic is best for chilly Minnesota weather. Susan will also be selling her home-grown garlic and spices for those who wish to bring it home with them.

Specialty Italian vendors will be at the Festival to feature classic Italian treats.  The Chef Shack will be dishing out handmade cannolis, a Sicilian pastry dessert, and Pastamore Gourmet Foods will be serving tapenades, a delicious dish consisting of finely chopped olives, capers and anchovies drizzled with olive oil.

An Italian Carnivale is not complete without a Bocce Ball competition. A game first played by Italian statesmen and rulers will be available for all peasants and patrons during the Italian Carnivale. Prizes will be awarded to the top three teams in each tournament. 


The Minnesota Renaissance Festival's 42nd season begins on Saturday, Aug. 18 and runs through Sept. 30, 2012. The Festival is open weekends, Labor Day and a special day for schools and seniors on Festival Friday, Sept. 28, open from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., rain or shine.

The Festival is located three miles south of Shakopee on Hwy 169. Admission is $21.95 for adults; $12.95 for children 5–12; $19.95 for seniors; 4 and under is free; dogs $10 with registration. 

Discount tickets are sold at participating Walgreens, Menards, Whole Foods Market and Super America stores. Discount coupons are available at participating Subway, Papa Murphy’s and Dunn Brothers locations.

For more information, visit www.renaissancefest.com or call 952-445-7361.

Anna Schier August 18, 2012 at 06:42 AM
This sounds worth attending for the wiener dog races alone!


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