Texas Renaissance Festival

Visitors can take a trip back to the 16th century once again this fall as the Texas Renaissance Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary.



The festival has steadily grown since opening in 1974 and now welcomes more than 500,000 visitors every year. During its inaugural season, the festival hosted about 3,000 visitors, Marketing Director Cory Brock said.



"The Renaissance Festival began in the '70s when it was just a bunch of hippies," Brock said. "One of the reasons we are so popular right now is because of the geek movement that has come about with popular shows like 'The Big Bang Theory,' 'Star Wars,' Comic-Con coming around and online comics coming along."



This year will mark the debut of the King Midas' Masquerade ball for visitors 21 and older, along with the return of festival staples, such as the King's Feast, performances, rides and games. Masquerade ball visitors are required to wear masks or face paint.



"We wanted to create something new that could reach outside the 16th century," Brock said. "In the festival theme park out here, we don't have any lights, electronics or amplified music. But in this masquerade ball, we have created a whole new facility. It is air conditioned, it has lights, amplified music, carpet and all the food and drinks that you would like as well."



Festival attendants will distribute 50,000 commemorative coins to visitors to this year's event marking the anniversary. In addition, the festival has added 35 new food items, and has implemented a shuttle service for preferred parking customers and disabled visitors, Brock said.



"We try to answer our customers needs, and we try to make the festival the best we can," Brock said. "We have gluten free and vegetarian items as well included in the new food items."



MOST RECENT

The deadline is May 17 for residents to protest their appraised property values set by the Harris County Appraisal District earlier this year, and officials are encouraging protesters to take online options into account. (Courtesy Pexels)
Harris County residents have until May 17 to protest property values

High demand for residential properties along with a shrinking inventory of homes translated into a roughly 8%-10% increase in residential values on average across the county this year

Montgomery County commissioners will convene May 11 for a regular court session. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Commissioners propose resolution objecting to groundwater production that supplies areas outside Montgomery County

Commissioners will vote to approve a resolution relating to groundwater use May 11 following a withdrawn proposal for a controversial water-bottling deal in Conroe.

The Westwood Magnolia Parkway Improvement District is funding an extension of Woodtrace Boulevard from Hwy. 249 in Magnolia to FM 2978. (Screenshot via Google)
Proposed Woodtrace Boulevard extension to connect Hwy. 249 and FM 2978

The Westwood Magnolia Parkway Improvement District is funding an extension of Woodtrace Boulevard that will connect Hwy. 249 in Magnolia to FM 2978 just south of the Woodlands Parkway.

Election bills among priority of 87th Texas Legislative session

Local lawmakers Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, and Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, have said among their priorities in the 87th Texas Legislature are a series of bills aimed at election integrity.

Live performances in the area include Kaitlin Butts on May 27 at Dosey Doe. (Courtesy Kaitlin Butts)
Where to see live music in The Woodlands area in May and June

Live music performances are scheduled at a number of venues in The Woodlands area in May and June, including outdoors for Waterway Nights.

The University of St. Thomas is a private Catholic college in Houston. It also has a microcampus in downtown Conroe. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)
University of St. Thomas offering free tuition to first 500 students who apply

The online degrees are in the following fields: cybersecurity, network technology, electronic technology, general business, and alcohol and drug dependency counseling.

Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 has begun construction on the first of three phases for its new 43-acre, state-of-the-art campus located in Spring, according to a May 7 news release. (Courtesy Cypress Creek EMS)
Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 begins construction on new 43-acre campus

The campus will house ESD No. 11's new ambulance service, which is scheduled to launch Sept. 4 when the district's contract with current service provider, Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services, expires.

FM 2978 has been under construction since 2018.
(Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Work on FM 2978 continues with expected completion date this summer

The project, begun in 2018, is expected to wrap in the second quarter of 2021.

Tomball Star Academy will celebrate its senior class May 27 with a graduation ceremony at 7 p.m. at the Magnolia Event Center, according to district information. Students will graduate virtually from LSC-Tomball on May 13, according to LSCS information. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
'They’ve created the legacy:' Inaugural class to graduate May 27 from Tomball ISD's early college high school program

The inaugural class of 95 students has been instrumental in paving the way for the students yet to finish the program, said Kelly Marchiando, the principal of Tomball Star Academy since January.

The Texas Department of State Health Services projects a significant shortage of nurses by 2032. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Q&A: Why Texas faces a growing nursing shortage and what can be done to address it

In 2018, the state health department estimated about 11% of the demand for nurses was not able to be met, and that number is expected to rise to 16.3% by 2032.

Photos in the home of Barbara and the late Don Gebert show the couple and other family members over their decades together. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
Don Gebert, founder of Interfaith of The Woodlands, remembered in The Woodlands

A celebration of life service for Don Gebert will be held June 12 at Lord of Life Lutheran Church.