Massive traffic jams are a regular weekend headache every October and November for drivers on N.C. 73 as the Carolina Renaissance Festival off Poplar Tent Road draws big crowds. Now festival promoters are hoping to solve the problem with a second entrance on N.C. 73, on land they've acquired next to the festival site.
Right now, the festival's 238-acre site only can be reached via a dirt road off Poplar Tent Road.
Jeffrey Siegel said Sunday that he has purchased a 33-acre farm near the festival site that also could give festival-goers access from N.C. 73. He plans to seek approval from the state Department of Transportation and town of Huntersville for the new plan, which also would include people directing traffic on event days.
There's one weekend left in this year's Renaissance Festival run, and any changes wouldn't take effect until October 2013, Mr. Siegel said.
Mr. Siegel's Fairhaven LLC owns the main festival site. He said he bought the adjacent 33-acre farm from Robin and Jim Konieczny. He said in an email he plans “no new or different use” for the property and intends to maintain it as a farm. The only change would be use it as a “traffic reliever” on event days, he said.
The popular festival draws thousands of vistors and cars during its annual run, and often backs up traffic on N.C. on weekend days. That has local residents searching for other routes, and occasionally has led organizers of other events to change their plans.
“A second entry with its additional use as an end of event day exit can go a long way to improve our participation with the transportation system during the festival’s season,” Mr. Siegel said in a press release. “We are always looking for ways to improve the event experience for our patrons and for the community that has grown around us over the past two decades.”
Here's the text of the festival announcement Sunday:
New Renaissance Festival Traffic Planning Announced
Huntersville, NC – The producer of the Carolina Renaissance Festival has purchased a 33 acre farm adjacent to the Renaissance Festival site with hope that its access to Highway 73, managed with event day traffic control personnel, can be found acceptable to NCDOT and the Town of Huntersville for seasonal use as an additional entry and exit to provide traffic relief on festival event days in October and November annually.