The Rapidian

New Renaissance Festival Coming to West Michigan




Riverside Park to host first annual West Michigan Renaissance Festival

Locally owned Ablan Entertainment, LLC d/b/a the West Michigan Renaissance Festival will bring the first ever Renaissance faire in the Greater Grand Rapids area to Riverside Park, on the city's Northeast side, on August 6-7, 2016, from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM each day.

The Festival will host a variety of Renaissance and medieval-themed entertainment, including five stages of around-the-clock performances from period-based acts; over thirty merchants and services; and traditional festival ambience as well as food to the Grand River-adjacent Riverside Park. The Festival will be located in the section of the park closest to the boat launch and the northernmost Frisbee golf course.

While West Michigan serves as home to other area Renaissance festivals, this is the first time that a faire of this type will occur within city limits, giving Grand Rapids residents and those in nearby communities unparalleled access to an event of this nature. 

Matt Ablan, Festival Coordinator, indicated, "We are excited to be forging new partnerships within the community. For example, the Grand Rapids Children's Museum and the Society for Creative Anachronism will jointly be running children's activities in an area of the Festival devoted specifically to young attendees, the Children's Circle."

Tickets for the Festival cost $10.00 at the door, while children 10 and under will be admitted to the Festival for free. Pets are also welcome at no extra cost.

Karan Petkus, steering committee member and long-time attendee of Renaissance festivals statewide, is delighted to help bring a new Festival to the Grand Rapids area. "I am thrilled by the talented acts we have booked to appear on Festival stages as well as the interest from merchants who will be selling their wares," Petkus states. "It should be fun and a great new Grand Rapids event for the summertime!"

Due to the initial start-up costs associated with running the event in its first year, the Festival is sponsoring a crowd-funded fundraising event at The event is an all-or-nothing campaign; donors will be able to purchase discount tickets via their contributions, which will only be collected if the campaign reaches its goal. For more information on this campaign, visit:

If you would like more information about the West Michigan Renaissance Festival, please contact Jenn Kalchik (Media Coordinator) and Matt Ablan (Festival Coordinator) at (316) 207-9380 or email at [email protected].

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