Renaissance Festival still going strong

The 2014 Michigan Renaissance Festival has only a couple of weeks left, but there is still plenty to see at the yearly festival.

The 36th annual Michigan Renaissance Festival in Holly, Michigan takes attendees back to the 16th century with a wide variety of entertainment options. The 17-acre village features 17 themed stages with entertainment, including full-contact armored jousting, comedy and theater shows; even rides.

In addition to the main attractions at the festival, there are also theme weekends. Past weekends have included Royal Pet & Ale Fest, High Seas Adventure and Wonders of the World. 

Being only a short drive north up I-75, the festival offers an outside entertainment option for Oakland University students.

When students visit the festival, they might also notice some familiar faces. Rick Carver, who goes by the stage name of Ric Roc, has been a performer for about thirty years at the festival. He is also a professor at OU. Carver earned his bachelor’s degree through the theatre department at OU, and he has been an adjunct professor in the department since 2000. He teaches mime and basic acting classes.

“Students from my class have to come out and see what I do because, as I explain that I do shows called ‘The Stupid Show’ and ‘The Dumb Show’ it’s kind of fuzzy to them,” Carver said. “When they see my shows they understand and appreciate what I do.”

Carver also works at other Renaissance festivals in the area, as well as other special events.

The people who work at the festival are important to creating a sense of escape for the visitors, something that character actor Mark Holden certainly helps with.

Holden dresses as a friar and carries a “Good Book” filled with homemade blessings, such as, “Blessing be the crucifix-shaped bottle I pour over my salad, for it is cross dressing.”

Holden is also an understudy for a musical comedy singing group, Bocca Musica, which perform four times a day.

Holden said that working at the festival is like working an improv show, and the fact that lots of people come every day for the festival makes it very party-like.

“Every year when I return to the fair I am greeted like an old friend at a class reunion,” Holden said. “Everyone is there to have fun, laugh, drink, and listen to music you would never find on your local FM stations.” 

The festival will run every weekend until Sept. 28. More information can be found at

For more information on Rick (Ric Roc) Carver and his shows, go to his website at