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The Renaissance is Coming…

Let word travel that the West Virginia Renaissance Festival will be in full swing this June at Hollow Hills Farm in Lewisburg. Hours are 11am-8pm every Saturday and Sunday, rain or shine. For the second year, lords and ladies, knights and knaves will stroll the grounds of Hollow Hills Farm for four weekends of shopping, entertainment, stage shows, live music, games, food, and all sorts of participatory revelry inspired by the days of the Renaissance. Last year, kids of all ages enjoyed seeing the mermaids and unicorns.  For 2019, there will be more games and activities including a maze, an escape room (see activity list below). The petting zoo will also be expanded and the goats will be milked while the chickens will forage around the farm as usual. It’s an all-day feast of fantasies for the whole family!

Opening weekend, June 8 and 9, will be “Warrior’s Weekend”, with free admission for veterans, active military, and first responders. The second weekend, June 15 and 16, will be “Pirate’s Landing” with some special pirate guest entertainment. On the weekend of June 22 and 23 the theme will be “Celtic Midsummer” with lots of Celtic music, bagpipes, and dancing.  The final weekend, June 29 and 30, the festival presents “Silk Road”, featuring visiting belly dancers and traders from the Crusades.  Guests are invited to join participants in wearing Renaissance era clothing and acting in the spirit of the festival. The grounds will be populated with a cast of colorful characters such as Ralphie the Ragpicker and Mermaid Montara.

Presented by Hanlon-Lees Action Theatre, the WV Renaissance Festival will offer stages of entertainment including: Jousting Knights and Steeds at 12:30p, 3p and 5:30p; The Duelists sword fighting, comedy and education; Aaron Bonk, fire whips and knives; Theatre of Fools, comedy and mime; Hey Nunnie Nunnie; Two madcap nuns and a ukulele; Gravity Check, juggling; Washing Well Wenches, comedy; Deante Fettucine, rope-walking spaghetti juggler; Knotty Nauticals, rope walking, fire and comedy; Knightwings, birds of prey from around the world; Isaac Fawlkes, magician; Wheel of Death, daredevil; Dragon Scales; and Fairie Tales, interactive puppet show; Aerial Silk Fantasy; Nature of Mercy, comedy sword fighting; and Willie Poore’s Pennie Merriments, cavalcade of comedy

Musical Acts include: Sybling Ryvalrie, Beren and Luthien, Paddy Kerry, Magnus and Maggie, The Reelin’ Rogues, Celtic Mayhem, Viking Drums, The Yeomen. Also making an appearance are local favorites Patrick O’Flaherty, Timpatico, and piper Chris Brumfield.

Onto the activities! There will be Archery, Ax throw, Castle Escape, Catapulting Frogs, Darts, Jacob’s Ladder, King of the Log, Knife and star throw, Maze, Mug slide, Petting farm, Test of Strength, and Tomato Torment. There will also be elephant, camel, unicorn, and warhorse rides.

Along with the exciting entertainment, there will be plentiful vendors offering handmade goods and demonstrating their traditional crafts. The festival is not only set in the Renaissance time period, but instead viewed as a Renaissance of vanishing skills and crafts. These skills will be shared with patrons will hopefully be passed on.  Festival organizers, Taso Stavrakis and his partner Dawn Kieninger, are still looking for vendors, so please contact them.  They tell us the products don’t have to be strictly as seen and used in Medieval times, but can have a modern esthetic, as long as the craft itself is historically based.

Last year about 4800 people attended the WV Renaissance Festival, with about 24 local residents working for those 8 days.  They are hoping to double attendance this year. Taso and Dawn tell us they are looking for more folks to work and say “It’s a short term, fun locale, perfect for high school students who want to pick up some work, or anyone who would like to pick up a little extra money for vacation spending or holidays without a long term commitment.” On Thursday May 23: don’t miss the WV Renaissance Fest Hiring Fair at Hollow Hills Farm, 2-6pm. This year, the festival will once again be donating $2 of every full price admission ticket to local charities. Hollow Hills Farm is located at 23439 Midland Trail, E.  For more information and announcements, visit wvrenfest.com or find them on fb @wvrenfest.

A Thank you Note from Dawn and Taso:

We would like to send out a big thank you to all our friends and neighbors who chipped in at the fabulous fundraiser organized by Alaina Hower. It means so much to us, even aside from the financial help, to know there are people out there wishing us well. It was amazing to see so many people gathered together whose lives we have crossed in the last five years, and to even meet new ones whom we didn’t know we were affecting. This is an amazing, creative, talented and supportive community and we hope to be a contributing part of it for years to come.

Coming to Lewisburg with the dream of sharing the experience we have had with Renaissance festivals around the country, we still need huge amounts of help. The two of us might be able to do every part of a Renaissance festival but we can’t do it all simultaneously. So we continue to look for people to join us on those 8 days-it takes a village to fill a village!

– HashtagWV #114. May 2019

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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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