Fires Won’t Affect Texas Renaissance Fest

The wildfires outside of Magnolia have burned close to the site of the Texas Renaissance Festival. But so far the 100-acre fairgrounds have escaped damage. The festival, which runs for eight consecutive weekends, is still set to open as scheduled, one month from today.

The festival grounds are currently being used as a staging area for fire equipment and emergency workers.

Marketing director Gina Rotolo says staffers are helping out, but are also gearing up for an on-time opening on October 8th.

“This is certainly happening at a time that is a little too close for comfort for us. But we realize in the grand scheme of things that are hundreds of people and thousands of acres around us that have been impacted and affected in such a harsh, harsh way that we’ve been incredibly fortunate.”

The grounds include a jousting arena, performance stages and arcades for selling crafts and food.

Rotolo had no exact numbers on the economic impact, but says businesses in nearby Magnolia and Plantersville certainly benefit.

The festival is beginning its 37th year. 

“It’s a big deal for a lot of people and it certainly does help many of those businesses thrive, it’s their busiest time of year.”

Rotolo says the festival may offer a special discount day to firefighters and others involved in the response.

But she says that other than that, there probably won’t be any overt references to the nearby fires.

And she says that’s actually a good thing.

 “From the time you get out of your car, you really do feel like you’re in a different world. I think part of our magic and fantasy is this feeling of escape from your life and sort of the reality and the hardships and this and that. I think it’s important for us to maintain that now more than ever.”

Almost half a million people bought tickets last year, setting an attendance record.

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required