The 2023 Minnesota Renaissance Festival is held weekends August 19th through October 1st, including September 4th – Labor Day and September 29th – Festival Friday.

Como Cottage was originally built by Como Zoo to educate people about animals while stepping back into the 16th century during the seven weekends of the fall Renaissance Festival. In 1997, MHS took sole responsibility for the cottage after years of sharing with Como Docents. Since then, Como Cottage is staffed entirely by volunteers from our organization.

We are always in need of more volunteers to help us staff Como Cottage.  It is a great location and gives us a huge opportunity to reach out to the public.

Coordinator Rae Rueber lists four excellent reasons to volunteer at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival:

“First, Ren Fest gives us an opportunity to reach out to a portion of the public that might not attend the other hands on events that we do.  People who don’t attend pet expos and educational fairs come out to Ren Fest. This gives us an opportunity to talk to them. To educate them about the amazing animals that we love.  Step one to getting people to about animal conservation is getting them to care about the animals. We have a unique opportunity to change attitudes towards our animals by giving people a chance to see them up close and interact.

Second, MNRF is huge fund raiser for MHS.  The donations we receive from the public and from festival management for being there make up a large part of MHS’s years income… the tune 30 to 50 percent.  We then use those funds in other areas to benefit our mission as an organization.

Third, You can get into Ren Fest for free for the day.  The festival is open from 9am to 7pm. We ask for 2 2-hour shifts…a total of 4 hours.  The rest of the day is yours to enjoy the festival as you see fit. We even have space to safely store your animals and belongings while you wander.

Finally….the best reason….ITS FUN!  Volunteering at the Renaissance festival is an experience like none other.   You get to dress up in funny clothes. You get to people watch. You get to meet interesting people.  You get watch people overcome their fear of snakes and get excited about the alligator. You get to eat breakfast cooked over an open fire and join in a Sat night potluck.  

You can volunteer for a single day or the whole run.  You wear your own costume or borrow one of ours. You can work your 4 hours and spend the rest of the day exploring the grounds or you hang around the cottage all day.”

Minnesota is never quite sure when we’ll see the end of the Minnesota Renaissance Festival on its current grounds, so if you’ve ever wanted to be part of the fun, now is the time!!!!

If you are interested in volunteering, please email for additional information and to let us know which days you would like to attend. We would prefer that you contact us no later than the Tuesday before the weekend that you intend to come out, particularly if it is your first visit.