Tag Archives: Games

Minnesota Renaissance Festival

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is a must see event just southwest of the twin cities.  In the past it has been in Shakopee, MN and it sounds like it will be until 2020.  It is a grand event that lasts for weeks.  Each week has a different theme so choose your weekend wisely.  It is only open Saturday and Sunday during the festival.

Weapons are allowed (no firearms, it is the renaissance, not the old west), but you will need to keep your sword peace-tied.  They need to be able to add a cable tie that will prevent you from unsheathing your sword.  Check out the festival’s FAQ‘s section for more details.

Get your tickets ahead of time to save a little cash.  It is open sun or shine so there is no worries about getting rained out.

Puke and Snot at the MN Renaissance Festival
Ha Ha, these guys

There are great shows, some of them are even family friendly.  Puke and Snot is probably my favorite, super funny show.  If the guy who reads poetry shoos your family away from his show there is a reason for it.  Of course there is the jousting event held three times a day.  If you are lucky you will catch the daily parade.

Jousting arena at MN Renaissance Festival

There are many activities for the children.  You can force your children to dual to the death, or until the balloons pop.  You can make them climb a tower.  We saw a kid make it to the top.  It was impressive.  There are tons of games and henna tattoos and other stuff.

Dual at the MN Renaissance Festival
Climbing the tower at the MN Renaissance Festival

Last, but not least you will want to bring a few dollars for the food (just ok), drink (Mead honey wine is a must), and clothing and other goods.  You can find the clothes you need to dress up for next year at the festival.  There are a lot of trade goods like soap, leathers, trinkets, and swords to name a few.

They always suggest eating a turkey leg.  It seems cool, but it isn’t actually that great in my opinion.  Others love it.  I am all about the Mead honey wine even though it is the one alcohol that pushes me down after just one sip.  Literally I start stumbling and spilling after a single sip.  I don’t know why.

Shopping at the MN Renaissance Festival

The first year I went to this festival with the girl who would become my first roommate in college.  She was really into the festival.  I didn’t get it but I had a lot of fun.  Now it is something I enjoy doing every couple of years.  I like to see all of the outfits people wear and watch the shows.  It is just an all around good time.

Oto Days 2016

Oto Days 2016

Oto Days 2016 is when the tiny town of Oto, IA turns into a big town.  The farmers come off the fields to stop in for a few events.  The kids that left for the big cities, around the U.S., come home to reconnect.

So many people sign up to be in the parade that you might think no one will be standing along the side to watch, but that isn’t so.  People line a good part of both sides of main street.  You get to see tractors, classic cars, funny cars, and even a clown.


There are multiple meals during Oto Days.  The firehouse puts on a dinner.  The ambulance serves a breakfast.  The Catholic church serves a broasted chicken dinner, Sneaky’s.


They crown a king and queen, which I believe are the oldest two individuals in town.

A bounce house goes on main street.


They setup the rides on the old grain bin slabs.  


The adults play in a human foosball tournament.  Not an event for the faint of heart.


A man carves wood into art and a woman can make you into a beautiful funny drawing.



Overall there is a lot to see and do at the Oto Days celebration.  There is bingo, a bubble machine, various musical acts, and of course Lefty Leigh’s.

The theme of this year’s Oto Days was Make Oto Great Again.  I have always heard that Oto is a town to tough to die and when you see an event like this one you know exactly why.

Oto Days, Oto

Oto Days, Oto, IA, 51044

Late September or early October the grand event of Oto Days rolls around.  The first year was 2014 and this little town ballooned in size.  It was a great success.  The town comes together to make this event happen.  The people help each other beautify the town and the neighborhoods.

Leading up to the event were the pink flamingos.  You would come home and find a flock of pink flamingos on your lawn.  You could then pay to have them removed and placed on someone else’s lawn.  It gave weeks of entertainment and helped raise funds.

pink flamingos

The carnival comes to town and the kids and some adults can ride the rides or play the games.  Buy a few tickets and enjoy the ride.



There are other organized events as well.  At the new park the kids can play games to win prizes.  Wow, this park is pretty sweet.

Playground equipment in Oto Park

Vendors sell items like pampered chef and caricatures.  The new owner’s of Smitty’s Bar & Grill opened shortly before the event in 2014.  Lefty Leigh’s had their big opening during this event in 2015.

Oto Days Oct 2014 charicatures

Smitty’s Bar & Grill has a big outdoor live music show in the evenings.  You can play horseshoes during the day.  There is a big tractor show and other events as well.  Like human foosball.

Did I mention the trick pony?

trick pony standing



trick pony mid-sittrick pony sitting





Like the City of Oto on Facebook to find out when the next Oto Days will be held.  It is a great event and I didn’t even mention half of the entertainment items and events.