GOLD CANYON — The jousting, feasting, entertainment and other merriment associated with the annual Arizona Renaissance Festival in Pinal County will be put off another year.
Festival organizers announced that the 2021 Arizona Renaissance Festival will be canceled due to COVID-19.
The nine-week festival would have opened in February with a COVID-19 safety plan and limited capacity.
Plans were halted due to rising COVID-19 cases.
“With negative COVID-19 conditions dramatically increasing, the worst since the beginnings of the pandemic, and with cases projected to increase over the next weeks, the festival now has a concern that even with its plan in place, audience support to open can become limited in comparison to the attendance necessary to be successful,” a press release on the festival website said.
The annual Renaissance Festival is a tribute to a storybook version of the 16th century.
Set on a 30-acre parcel near Gold Canyon along U.S. 60, it includes a medieval-style amusement park, a Renaissance village known as Fairhaven and 14 stages for entertainment as well as a marketplace and eateries.
Jousting competitions are held three times every day in a 5,000-seat arena and include galloping horses and a chance to meet the winning knight.
Attending the festival is an annual tradition for some.
“For many, attending the festival is an annual tradition and represents a unique escape from their daily cares, a celebration of a simpler time and place where history and fantasy collide. We will be back. The festival village gates will open again. Our patrons and participants are counting on it,” the press release said.
Established in 1989, the Annual Arizona Renaissance Festival is the largest fair of its type in Arizona.