The Renaissance Festival movement raises concerns

As thousands make their way to Shakopee for the Renaissance Festival, Scott County officials are addressing concerns about traffic congestion.

On Tuesday, county commissioners discussed the matter during part of a scheduled board meeting after a resident and employer brought up the issue.

“I can’t stand this traffic anymore,” said Bob Piper, a Scott County business owner.

Piper spoke at the Scott County Board of Commissioners meeting earlier this week.

“At 8:30 a.m., traffic was already bolstered by the Renaissance Festival car park, past my driveway,” Piper said.

For more than 50 seasons, this festival attracts thousands to Shakopee on weekends from late August to early October. Along this route, Piper says, vehicles are backed up so far back in the days of Ren Fest that his customers don’t have access to his furniture business.

“I actually had to close my business for the day, and I can’t get clients to wait in line that long,” Piper said.

“I’ve had residents and businesses call in with some complaints,” Scott County Commissioner Barb Wakeman Brecky said.

Weckman Brekke understands the concerns.

“We work with Ren Fest and neighbors on traffic and traffic management, but there are always some issues,” said Wakeman Brikki.

That’s why they offer an immediate solution possible: use the Marschall Road Transit Station.

“You can park here, take the bus a few miles down the road, ride faster, get off faster, and I encourage people to do that,” said Wakeman Brikki.

One new thing this year is the presence of cameras in both entrances. County officials say they plan to use it to get a better idea of ​​the number of vehicles entering each day.

“We’ll use that in planning for next year because because there’s been growth around Ren Fest, they’ve lost some parking, we’ll need to work with them to see how they can be successful without hindering others around them,” said Wakeman-Brickie.

With thousands more expected to take the trip in the coming weekends, business owners like Piper are only looking for a fair chance.

“I don’t feel they have the right to set up another business,” Piper said.

“I would just encourage festival-goers to have some patience to be safe and just think about not blocking the aisles of people and businesses if they are waiting in line,” added Wakeman-Brickie.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has reached out to the organizers of the Renaissance Festival to comment on the parking situation but there has been no response.

For more information on parking and transportation options, click here.

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