Oxford Renaissance Festival

4939 Hamilton Rd, Dorchester, ON

June 22 - 24 , 2018


So – just what is a Renaissance Festival?

A Renaissance Festival is a wonderful mix of entertainment with a splash of history that colours the festivities. As you walk into the gate, we hope that you will feel that you have visited a small village festival in the heart of Oxfordshire, England, in the middle of the 1500s. Some people choose to dress the part – we love it when you dress up and play along – but you can come as you are if you so choose – just dress for the weather! Throughout your day, you will have an opportunity to enjoy live music, stage shows, interactive renaissance characters, and a host of renaissance styled vendors who make up our village. It is a music show, live theatre, fine arts, food, fun, and history all wrapped up in a single visit! Bring the kids, or come without – we endeavor to have something that will entertain everyone at the Oxford Renaissance Festival!

2018 Storyline

TThe small village of Wolvercote is once again anticipating a visit from the Queen and her chosen courtiers. This is the sixth year in a row that the Queen has visited, and one would think that the village knows well what to do – but there seems to be a sense of desperation in the air. The people of Wolvercote have been placed in a very precarious position – and there is no easy way out!

The year is 1567 – and the topic on everyone’s mind is the succession. Queen Elizabeth has disbanded Parliament so that she need not address the issue – however her councilors continue to press her to marry and produce an heir so that there may be no doubt in the land as to who should succeed. Hoping to encourage a royal marriage by any means possible, William Cecil, chief Councilor to her Majesty has sent word that if the village of Wolvercote wishes to remain as a stop along the queen’s progress, they must find a way to help soften the Queen’s heart.

Wolvercote has no choice but to comply – to lose the income generated by the Queen’s visit would be disastrous. On the other hand, to lose the favour of the Queen herself would be catastrophic! After much deliberation, discussion, and worry, the village has decided to set a theme of “Courtly Love” for their annual festival. They hope that the medieval romanticism that celebrates the unconsummated love between a chivalrous knight and a virtuous lady will appeal to the Queen while satisfying the demands of her council. To this end, the village will be full of displays of chivalrous romance – impromptu contests of compliments, troubadours, poem a grams, and more!

 School Trip

The Oxford Renaissance Festival is also open for an end of year field trip – The Friday (and Thursday if we get booked up!) before the festival is open for registered school groups to attend an Education Day where groups rotate through learning pods and find out more about Renaissance England. We tend to teach about the ancient sports of falconry, jousting, armed combat; trades such as blacksmithing, and Renaissance fashion, and manners. The day is designed for Grades 1 – 8, with discounts for schools that register early and bring more than one class. Find out more on the “Education Days” page.


Overview: The Oxford Renaissance Festival attracts over 2000 patrons each year to spend a day in a renaissance village. Our goal is to include merchants who can offer our patrons uncommon products and services that complement our theme. Demonstrations of your craft are always appreciated to add to the education and entertainment of the audience. Except in the case of extreme weather, the festival (and vendors) will remain open, rain or shine.

Good Day Lords and Ladies, well met!

As we start to plan for this year's festival event we are looking for vendors to join us, if you are interested please fill out our pre-application vendors form so we know your intent, after which a carrier pigeon (email) will be sent with the contract forms.

Looking forward to creating the renaissance with you, ORF Pre Vendor Google Application form