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See the best-dressed attendees at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival


“People consider [dressing up in costumes] weird, but if you go to a place where everyone is weird, that’s just okay,” Deshawn Gardner said. That’s the sentiment of most of the 300,000 annual Minnesota Renaissance Festival attendees.

People spend months designing and handcrafting everything from wizard hats to Viking boots just for the chance to share their passion with complete strangers.

Caitlin Mueller poses for a portrait dressed as a Viking. “I love that it brings the magic back into your life […] you lose your imagination as an adult, but it brings it back,” Mueller said.

Alex Kormann, Star Tribune

See the best-dressed attendees at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Deshawn Gardner poses for a portrait dressed as a grim reaper. “People consider [dressing up in costumes] weird but if you go to a place where everyone is weird, that’s just okay,” Gardner said.

Alex Kormann, Star Tribune

See the best-dressed attendees at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Maxwell Skinner, left, and Diego Broth Castro dressed as King and Knight. The boys are neighbors and share a birthday so they wanted to make a costume together. “I wanted to fight the real king to see who the real king is,” Maxwell said.

Alex Kormann, Star Tribune

See the best-dressed attendees at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Abby Thao with her handmade flower crown. “I cosplay everywhere, not just at the Renaissance Festival, but it’s just a place where I don’t feel judged,” she said.

Alex Kormann, Star Tribune

See the best-dressed attendees at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Liviana and Jimmy Worth were dressed as characters of their own invention, “Lil Gnarlsworth and Jameson”. “I love the story and I love tinkering and making things myself,” Jimmy said.

Alex Kormann, Star Tribune

See the best-dressed attendees at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Andrew Mueller dressed as a Viking. Andrew and his wife, Caitlin, celebrated their anniversary by traveling from Denver to the festival.

Alex Kormann, Star Tribune

See the best-dressed attendees at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Jamison Davis said, “I love the magic of it all and I love bringing an experience to kids.”

Alex Kormann, Star Tribune

See the best-dressed attendees at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

John Tverberg dressed as dad emeritus of the rock band Ghost. “My favorite thing is seeing people get excited about my costume and asking for pictures,” he said.

Alex Kormann, Star Tribune

See the best-dressed attendees at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Robert Williams as Gandalf the Grey. “I love ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ and I love being Gandalf too,” he said.

Alex Kormann, Star Tribune

See the best-dressed attendees at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Laura Santiago poses in a homemade 18th century dress. “I work in tech and stare at a screen all day, so it’s a way to express my creativity,” she said.

Alex Kormann, Star Tribune

See the best-dressed attendees at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Matthew Krikava dressed as a knight. “I love meeting other people who love immersing themselves in the old culture,” he said.

Alex Kormann, Star Tribune

See the best-dressed attendees at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Rian Vellichor tunes his guitar. “There’s nothing like performing at a Renaissance festival […] it combines a nerdy sensibility with the music,” she said.

Alex Kormann, Star Tribune

See the best-dressed attendees at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Nick T. posed for a portrait. “It’s a once-a-year adult disguise,” he said.

Alex Kormann, Star Tribune

See the best-dressed attendees at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Bill Hedrick as Gandalf the Grey. “I love research and building and all the ‘omigods’ I get from people walking past […] I had 20 people asking me for a photo and I’ve only been here 30 minutes,” he said.

Alex Kormann, Star Tribune

See the best-dressed attendees at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Kristin Thesing poses for a portrait wearing a homemade Minnesota Wild costume. “I’m a goaltender and last year I made a Philadelphia Flyers costume, but this year I had to represent the home team,” Thesing said.

Alex Kormann, Star Tribune

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