HUNTERSVILLE –  The Carolina Renaissance Festival approaches its 20th year of bringing medieval cheer to the Charlotte region. 

Nearly 190,000 attendees are expected to time travel to the fictional village of Fairhaven to experience the festival, held Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 5-Nov. 24. 

The festival’s artisan marketplace mimics 16th century architecture and features more than 100 merchants, crafters and artists that create, demonstrate and sell handmade wares. 

Eleven outdoor stages and performance settings will feature non-stop theater, comedy, music, dance, magic, circus entertainments and falconry demonstrations. 

Hundreds of costumed villagers walk the festival providing additional entertainment. 

The festival’s signature attraction features medieval knights on horseback jousting three times daily in the Queen’s tournament arena. Patrons can also enjoy fair games, rides and feasting fit for royalty.

Twentieth anniversary celebrations include guest performances by variety acts visiting from around the globe and performing on stage for a limited time:

• The Duke of Danger – Performing acrobatic stunts combined with humor and physical comedy. 

• MooNiE the Magnificent – A clown that surprises adults and children with juggling and sophomoric comedy without speaking a word.

• The Checkerboard Guy – A comedy and prop-centric variety show.

• Broon – A lovable “bad boy” that combines sly wit and conversational comedy with a variety of tricks and stunts.

Organizers have also added another vehicle access point on N.C. 73 to improve entering and exiting the festival.  

“We are always looking for ways to improve the Festival experience for our patrons and for the community that has grown around us over the past two decades.” festival producer Jeff Siegel said. 

The 20th annual Carolina Renaissance Festival takes place 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 5-Nov. 24, off Exit 25 in Huntersville.

Advance tickets cost $21 for adults and $11 for ages 5-12 at Harris Teeter stores. Add $1 if bought at the gate. Seniors and members of the military get discounts at the gate. Children younger than 5 get in free.