Parking changes for 2023 Renaissance Festival
After years of traffic backups at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, a new plan has been announced.
After months of back and forth, Scott County commissioners decided in March to approve the event’s permit to allow it to continue but required a new traffic and parking plan. In past years, nearby residents and businesses complained of traffic backups.
This year, attendees will be required to buy a parking pass ahead of time or get to the festival via a park-and-ride or rideshare service.
While some people look forward to the Renaissance Fest, business owners who work close by dread it.
“It’s been a challenge the last four years, but it’s been really bad the last couple years,” said David Lindstrom, owner of Minnesota Valley Garden Center.
Minnesota Valley Garden Center is right off Highway 169, which is a direct route to the Ren Fest.
Lindstrom said traffic is backed up so badly, customers shy away from making the trip to his store, and sales drop.
“Even the people coming northbound it would add a half hour to an hour just to turn into our lot, which is kind of unheard of,” Lindstrom said.
Scott County officials are hoping the new traffic and parking plan helps.
“It was tough for people, not just businesses, but people getting just to a soccer game or getting groceries or something,” Lindstrom said. “All kinds of stories about it took two hours to go get a couple eggs.”
Business owners are hoping the new parking plan gives nearby stores some relief.
“It feels good,” Lindstrom said. “If they can get the traffic to a manageable level, we’re hoping to generate some more sales because of the additional traffic flow.”
Festival parking passes are good for one day and cost $10. For more details on on-site parking, click here.
Fair officials recommend visitors take advantage of park-and-ride options. Parking at the park-and-ride lots is free and round-trip bus rides to and from the festival cost $5 for people 13 and older while those 12 and under are free. However, each adult who utilizes a park-and-ride bus will get $5 back in “bus bucks” which can be used as a discount on fair admission or any festival merchandise purchase.
For more details on park-and-ride options, click here.
The Renaissance Festival is open Saturdays and Sundays starting this coming weekend, Aug. 19, through Oct. 1.