HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – It’s the Renaissance Festival’s 29th year in business and fans were out in full force for the first full Saturday of the event.

Last year, neighbors complained of massive traffic and long wait times. Producer Jeffery Siegel says that’s something that won’t happen this season.

‘Utter disaster’: Residents near Carolina Renaissance Festival in Huntersville want traffic relief

“We believe with our new traffic management plan for the roadways, (we) greatly increased staffing for the parking with extensive training and practice,” he said. 

A representative from Road Safe Traffic Assistance says they knew what they needed to fix after years of bad traffic and complaints.

“They put in a new road over there for them, it’s actually their new road so they’re able to get in and get out a little bit better than it was over here, this road over here is a little smaller than over there,” Willie Bellamy.

The festival also opened a half hour earlier. But Siegel says the big change was the revision to the ticketing program to better control daily attendance.

“We cleared the roadway system to our major entry and traffic by around 12:30 p.m. today, whereas last year that could’ve been 2 p.m to 3 p.m, so it was vastly improved.

One woman says she came earlier this year to prepare for the traffic but when she arrived, she noticed the changes.

“Last year, it was probably maybe 30 minutes tops .. it wasn’t that bad and this year it was like 20,” she said. 

“Now this would be an 80% attended day, so we know we’ll have some days that have larger attendance but what we’re doing now and what we’re learning from our experience today I think we’ll be on top of it for the rest of the season,” Siegel said.