Florence Renaissance Faire
Alabama designated the Florence Renaissance Faire as the official state Renaissance fair in 1988. Since the first fair in 1987, the Florence Renaissance Faire has developed into a major tourist event in Northwest Alabama. It has been named one of the top 20 events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourist Society in Atlanta.
This unusual event draws 30,000 - 40,000 people each year to downtown Florence, Alabama. The Renaissance Faire is held on the fourth Saturday and Sunday in October to take advantage of fine weather and gorgeous fall foliage.
Medieval / Renaissance events are held in the community during the entire month of October, including musical programs, public lectures, dramatic performances, art exhibits, free costume - making workshops, and dance programs (October has been officially designated "Renaissance Month" by the local government).
One of the highlighted pre-fair events is an authentic Medieval / Renaissance feast featuring food and entertainment of the period (held one week before the faire). People who attend the feast are encouraged to follow the customs of the era by bringing their own tablecloth, candelabra and eating utensils (this was a common practise during Medieval times - the nobility liked to flaunt their wealth by displaying gold plates and candlesticks of brass, silver and gold).
Fair activities include art contests for young children, sonnet-writing contests for adolescents, chess tournaments for all ages, and a poster - design contest for adults.