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Ramblin’: Rebirth of the Renaissance at WV Renaissance Festival

Nestled in the unassuming hills of Greenbrier County, an extraordinary farm beckons you to take a step out of the present and into a world of times past- a world where knights spar for sport, lords and ladies grace the scene, and spectators celebrate in the spirit of revitalization and rebirth. In its historically recreated European village, Hollow Hills Farm has heralded in a new ethos to the Greenbrier Valley and invites you all to partake in the merriment of the very first West Virginia Renaissance Festival.

As if anyone ever needed a reason to celebrate, this event will give you a hundred more. From the origins of the Renaissance festival starting as a fundraiser in 1963, these events have grown to encompass an array of enticements, including games, entertainment, food, music, vendors, and more. Every event centers around the historical Renaissance time period, but each one boasts its own eccentricities and distinctive characteristics. The West Virginia Renaissance Festival will carry a torch of its own with the combined 70+ years of experience from owners Taso Stavrakis and Dawn Kieninger. A seasoned stuntman and jouster, Stavrakis is now celebrating the 40th anniversary of his performing company, the Hanlon Lees Action Theater, with his partner Kent Shelton. In a display of skill and strength, he will bring his art to life with the jousting arena being at the heart of the festival grounds. Starting her Renaissance festival career as a performer and then transitioning to food and later the arts, Kieninger has also been paramount in shaping the creation of the event’s showcases. Her leather working business will be on display along with many other artists, crafters, and vendors from near and afar. Drawing from decades of connections and their ever-growing local base, the two have synthesized the perfect combination of seasoned veterans and local talent to bring the best shows, food, music, and entertainment to this first-time event in the Greenbrier Valley.

Come rain or shine, the West Virginia Renaissance Festival will open its gates to the public for 4 weekends of fun and excitement with something for every age. In addition to the vendors and entertainment, the event will boast games of skill for patrons, a woodland maze, animal rides, dance classes, and some of the most breathtaking scenery of the area. Situated along US Rt. 60, the festival can be easily accessed from both downtown Lewisburg and Alta exit 161 off of I-64. Visitors are welcome to partake in festive and period attire, but it is not required. While firearms are prohibited on festival grounds, costume weapons are permitted as long as they are peace tied. Guests are also reminded to consider that the event is outdoors and to come  prepared for sun, rain, wind, and uneven terrain.

Despite its first year in operation, the festival has already propelled itself into the spotlight as becoming one of the area’s most anticipated attractions. Even after the festival, Hollow Hills Farm will continue to operate as an organic farm and training facility for horses and performers with hopes to expand their offerings to later include other events, private bookings, trail rides, and a horse hotel for travelers. They currently offer horse and carriage services for weddings and events and hope to continue building relations with the Greenbrier Valley by being a positive addition to the local economy. It is the dedication of the teams at the West Virginia Renaissance Festival and Hollow Hills Farm that embody the spirit of providing a truly unique experience to the Greenbrier Valley for guests and tourists alike. So grab your costume or come as you are and show your support in return by perusing the first annual West Virginia Renaissance Festival in June.

More detailed information can be found below:

The West Virginia Renaissance Festival operating days/hours: June 9-10, June 16-17, June 23-24, June 30-July 1. 10 AM-6 AM, rain or shine.

23439 Midland Trail E
Lewisburg, WV 24901
Facebook: WV Renaissance Festival
Adult admission- $16
Ages 6-12- $6
Ages 5 and under- Free
Leashed pets- $6 with proof of current vaccination

– Jennifer Sprouse, HashtagWV #102. June 2018.

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HashtagWV Art & Entertainment is a high-quality print and digital multimedia platform for all things West Virginia and the greater Appalachian region. The editorial focus is local music, unique shopping, the arts, events, theatre, and food and drinks. tiktok.com/@hashtagwv

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