Medieval merriment

Renaissance Faire to become
a reality in Henry County

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

EMINENCE, Ky. (June 2006) – Eleven-year-old Lauren Moore does the things that most youths her age do everyday – except for six weeks this summer when she will be eating, sleeping and breathing like a Renaissance royal.

Renaissance Faire
• June 3-July 9 (weekends only)
10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Adults $12; Children (ages 5-13) $6
• Directions: Take I-64 to Exit 35. Go north on Hwy. 53, right onto Hwy. 22 (Elm Street). Faire is on the right, across from Southern States.
• Information: (502) 845-0806 or www.kyrenfaire.com

Moore is one of many participants in the Highlands Renaissance Festival. She will use her skill and wit to re-enact life in the 14th century through songs, games and interaction with attendees.
The days are being counted down to the opening of what has been billed as “Kentucky’s First Renaissance Festival.” Set amidst a natural landscape in Henry County, Ky., an entire Renaissance living history village will soon come to life.
The Highlands Renaissance Festival carries the atmosphere of a medieval faire. This is a timeline event, spanning the 14th-18th centuries (1300-1799). Although the main theme is that of the Renaissance era, it was widened to a timeline event to accommodate the many re-enactors in the faire area.

Renaissance Faire Group

Photo provided

From left in front, Dorothy Gezotis, Emily Burkot, Rebekah Lay, Dieter Zimmerman and Davie Henderson. Back row from left, Bob Watters, Paulina Sears and Karl Licht.

General manager Ed Frederick said that he expects to be “90 percent complete on the opening weekend.” Several permanent structures will remain on the site, such as a dining pavilion, stages and a jousting field.
The faire will operate on weekends only from June 3 to July 9. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is located on 117 acres on Hwy. 22 on the outskirts of Eminence. Frederick said this land has been leased for the next 20 years.
So far, 78 vendors have contracted to attend the faire. All vendors must be juried, said Frederick. Organizers want all merchandise as historically accurate as possible, in an effort to convey what life was really like in the Renaissance period.
Visitors will see pirates, fairies, Vikings, Celts, jousting, juggling, mud shows, musicians, crafts and a whole lot more. Entertainment will include Phoenic Falconry (birds of prey show), Men of Thunda (tribal pipes and drums), Kathleen Finnegan (Celtic harp), and the Pickled Brothers Sideshow (comedy routine).
“It’s the biggest thing you’ll see,” said Frederick. For each day the faire is open, 10 separate shows are scheduled throughout the day at multiple times. “It is the most unique family experience I’ve ever been to.”

Lauren Moore

Photo provided

Lauren Moore, 11, of Crestwood, Ky., enjoys playing a part in the Renaissance Faire.

A job fair was held earlier this year, at which time 30 local individuals were hired. Some positions are part-time, such as construction, maintenance and groundskeepers. Frederick is adamant about maintaining a park-like setting.
“We’ve used a lot of local contractors and suppliers,” he said. The community has “really come to our aid. The county and city governments have been behind us.”
Eminence Mayor Doug Bates said he hopes the faire will “increase our tourism and help local businesses in the community.” He also hopes this attraction will entice tourists to visit other parts of the county.
Paulina Sears is the Apprentice Casting Director for the actors participating in the Renaissance Faire. Having been involved in such events for more than 10 years, Sears said, “I love the atmosphere. People who come always have a lot of fun.”
Sears is working with a group of 15 actors, which includes Moore. She is instructing them in comedy, improvisations and character development. She will be in character as a visiting noble woman from a nearby town.
Sears thinks Henry Countians will embrace the Renaissance Faire. “When patrons get there, they will absolutely love it,” she said.

Back to June 2006 Articles.



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