One of the nation’s largest, most acclaimed renaissance theme parks, The Texas Renaissance Festival is where the sights, sounds, tastes and beauty of the 16th Century come alive 8 weekends of every Saturday and Sunday during October & November including Thanksgiving Friday. The Texas Renaissance Festival was founded in 1974 by George Coulam and his brother David Coulam. At the time, it spanned only fifteen acres, with three stages featuring small improv theatre groups, and merchants selling their goods on blankets. The opening year saw a turn-out of 33,000, nearly a twentieth of the turnout of 2012.The festival grounds feature 17 stages, which host a wide variety of performances. The festival features several medieval-themed music and dance groups, including everything from belly dancing, to harps and fiddles, to bagpipes and accordions, to the carillon. Also, throughout the festival several demonstrating artists can be found presenting the methods of various medieval trades, such as glassblowing, forging armor, candle-making, coin minting, and others to visitors.