Welcome to the Forums!  Please post an introduction after signing up!

For an updated map of Ren Fests check out The Ren List at!

The Chat server is now running again, just select chat on the menu!

Main Menu

MNRF Use Permit revoked

Started by groomporter, November 17, 2022, 12:24:09 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Scott County has revoked the conditional use permit to open the Minnesota Renaissance Festival for misrepresenting information, and probably outright lying to the county on several counts regarding traffic, parking and emergency plans as well as violating zoning aspects of the permit. Link to the letter being sent to Mid American Festivals and the related land owners by the county:

It will be interesting to see what hoops they have to jump through to open in 2023.

Update/correction. There seems to be a discrepancy between the published online minutes and the livestream video of the county meeting. It seems they have tabled the actual decision to revoke the permit until January.
When you die can you donate your body to pseudo-science?

Sir Martin

Wow ... I hope they get everything worked out before their next season starts.


Statement from MNRF on their artisans FB group/

To our valued Participants,
As many of you are aware. Scott County commissioners and staff have been meeting and discussing issues pertaining to the festival mostly relating to traffic impacting some local businesses and neighbors.
A reporter from the Star Tribune called asking us to comment on actions being contemplated by the Scott County board of commissioners. We sent the reporter the following statement:

"The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is a family tradition that has been an important fixture in Scott County for almost 50 years. The Festival brings people together from throughout the region who enjoy the wholesome entertainment it provides. Many local businesses, artisans, entertainers, volunteers, schools, and organizations benefit from the Festival.
The Festival has complied with the Conditional Use Permit that enables it to operate on its site in Scott County. The Festival denies any violation of the Permit. After seeing and hearing the facts, the County should agree with the Festival's position and keep the long standing Permit in place.
At the public hearing on November 15, numerous individuals spoke out in support of the Festival. Even the individuals who raised concerns about traffic acknowledged the importance of the Festival and said they wanted the Festival to remain operational.
We are committed to working collaboratively with the County staff, elected officials, local business owners and our neighbors to mitigate the traffic issues they have raised. We are optimistic and confident that, together, we can reach an amicable resolution."
We will keep you apprised.
When you die can you donate your body to pseudo-science?


And I've just heard from two cast members that "Fud" the entertainment director since Hagerman left has just resigned. His statement (I assume on a cast member group) said that he and MAF could not come to an agreement about how to proceed.
When you die can you donate your body to pseudo-science?


Waiting impatiently for January 17th and the next County board meeting to see what gets decided. Thinking about attending. I'm assuming they will give MAF certain requirements and deadlines they have to meet in order to avoid having the permit revoked, and that we still won't have a firm decision yet. Of course we still haven't heard if they have a new lease agreement with the land owners...
When you die can you donate your body to pseudo-science?


Should be interesting.  Living in Shakopee my whole life, I have to say it was not something many people I know here even have been or seem to love like myself.  They might not have enough local support within the county at this point with how little effort they seem to be putting in to address these issues. 

I am torn on how I feel about it, if I thought this would force new ownership I would love to see it revoked but I am more worried it would just kill the fest and something would pop up somewhere else half the size of this one. 


County board meeting this morning summarized,

Actual decision regarding permit tabled until February 21st pending more concrete information on proposed changes to the permit. Possible March 7th drop dead date for final decision.

New parts of an application to amend the permit. (Some of which MAF didn't submit until Friday, Jan. 13.):

MAF proposed a $5.00 fee to park at MNRF (I think they said just on the busiest last three weekends?)

MAF proposed to try to increase bus ridership 20%, but no updated agreements with bus companies yet. hope for transit for 50,000 patrons, but no specified plan yet.

Open parking gates earlier, and make changes to improve parking efficiency and layout of parking lots, and hire "full time" parking staff.

There is a proposed new land lease through 2026, but it is not finalized at this point.
DNR alleged unlawful trespass by parking on DNR land adjacent to the Queen's Lot. MAF will have to work that out with the DNR
When you die can you donate your body to pseudo-science?


Looks like it is item 7 on the county board agenda tomorrow and scheduled for about 10 am.
When you die can you donate your body to pseudo-science?


MNRF Permit hearing, no result.

Final decision being tabled to March 21st to get more solid answers to several things like solid busing plans and infrastructure changes.

Definitely looking like a $5.00 parking voucher required with a limited number sold at the gate. They are looking at limiting the number of vehicles parking on site, but not overall attendance.
When you die can you donate your body to pseudo-science?


The county approved the amended permit application for MNRF yesterday, but MNRF has to submit their over all traffic and parking plans by June 1st, or it could be revoked. (In future years that deadline will be April 30.)

They have contracted with an outside parking management company. They are looking at limiting parking on site to 7000 vehicles. Date-specific parking vouchers will be for sale online along with a smaller number available "at the gate" for a higher price. They are talking about at least three park & ride locations with possible additional ones if they can make deals with two more area bus companies. Bus rides were apparently $3.00 last year. They have mentioned $5 or $10 as the advance price for parking. No charge for participant parking at this point.

But in the county meetings they mentioned more than once the need to have to redirect cars to the nearest park & rides (or home) when parking voucher sales reach 7000 vehicles. Bottom line is plan to arrive early to avoid traffic and don't decide to go at the last minute.
When you die can you donate your body to pseudo-science?

Lord Argyl of Lochdubh

wow I had no idea the mnrf had that much business. Of course I am far away and never have been and am more familiar with TRF but I am still amazed at the participation numbers.
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are---
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.


I believe MNRF is on the same scale as TRF. They are the largest in the country.
Got faerie dust?


MNRF was back up over 300,000 for last season with peak days over 30,000 people. But it has been a while since the numbers have been that high. The site itself is supposed to be about 20-some acres without the parking lots.
When you die can you donate your body to pseudo-science?


Posted to the MNRF artisans fb group by Stephanie

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival will be better than ever in 2023!
On behalf of Mid-America Festivals we have exciting news to share. The Scott County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved amendments proposed by Mid-America Festivals Corporation to its Conditional Use Permit., giving Mid-America Festivals Corporation, which organizes the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, the green light for the 2023 Minnesota Renaissance Festival. The Minnesota Renaissance Festival will be better than ever in 2023 as we incorporate several new protocols to benefit the experience for the Renaissance community as well as our neighbors.
Mid-America Festivals Corporation will provide regular updates as they become available. The Minnesota Renaissance is committed to the following:
A robust busing program designed and developed by a professional transit expert to ensure convenient and ample opportunities to travel to and from the Festival by bus.
Limited onsite parking will be available incorporating a date specific pre-paid voucher system
A premiere professional parking firm retained to design, direct and manage an improved parking plan.
Many other improvements
Festival management wishes to express thanks to Scott County staff, the governing bodies of both Scott County and Louisville Township, and the local residents and business owners for their time and efforts in reaching a workable plan and appreciate their continued support and commitment to the continuation of our great Minnesota Family Tradition.
More information on parking vouchers and busing plans coming soon!
When you die can you donate your body to pseudo-science?


Wow! I am really hoping to attend the Minnesota Renaissance Festival this fall. I saw a round trip flight from St. Louis for under a hundred bucks (or a 7 hour drive). If I go, I will plan to be there EARLY, pre-purchase parking, or make friends on the bus!

I wonder if any of the hotels offer a would be a good money-making opportunity. The festival should encourage it (give discounted tickets to the hotels to get people to buy the "renaissance package"/room-ticket-ride combo or something). I'm a genius! ;D


I'm not aware of any motels that offer shuttles but it sounds like there will be at least three park-and-ride locations, possibly more. Been a month since the county meeting approving the permit, but no updates from management yet.
When you die can you donate your body to pseudo-science?