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VA Ren Faire info (kind of long)

This is a brief article on the new VA Ren Faire-- it's from Renaissance 
Magazine, Vol. I, Issue I. (My parents have the habit of picking up odd but 
cool magazines at places like Barnes & Noble)


One of the oldest states is now home to one of the newest Renaissance faires. 
In May 1996, the Virginia Renaissance Festival will open near Fredericksburg, 
VA. The new festival will take place at a permanent site currently being 
constructed by Renaissance Entertainment Corp. (REC), a Colorado based company 
that purchased the site for $2.8 million. REC owns Renaissance fairs in 
California (acquired in the spring of 1995 for $1.5 million) and Wisconsin as 
well as the jousting troupe Heroes and Villains.

Maryland, Virginia's neighbor just across the Potomac River, has long had a 
successful Renaissance fair of its own, to which Virginians have had to travel 
in order to celebrate the 16th century. Now they will be able to do so in 
their own backyard. There is no indication, however, that the spring Virginia 
festival will be in direct competition with the fall Maryland fair.

The Virginia Renaissance Festival is situated on a farm 3.5 miles east of 
Fredericksburg on Route 3, known since the 18th century as "King's Highway," 
and the wooded area around the festival site as Sherwood Forest. And the farm 
was once owned by George Washington's mother.

Initially, the fair will be open for seven weekends beginning May 4, 1996. 
Eventually the duration of the fair will increase. "We intend to grow to about 
three months," says COnnie Smith, an REC public relations representative, "but 
that will take several years."

A variety of historically accurate activities will take place at the festival. 
"What distinguishes the REC events is their dedicationt to authenticity," 
Smith says. "We do not mix the other periods. It is truly an Elizabethan 
period event." Thus, although jousting might seem like a flashy anachronism at 
a Renaissance-era activity, Smith pointed out that such tournaments are 
actually quite appropriate.

"The reason we include the joust, from a historical perspective, is that Queen 
Elizabeth was an avid historian, and she liked jousting," Smith explains. So, 
even though jousting was not practiced elsewhere during the 16th century, it 
was ressurected in England at the behest of the queen. "She appreciated the 
value of spectacle, and used it to her advantage."

Although the festival itself is accurate, its organizers encourage visitors to 
wear costumes, regardless of whether or not they are period.

Beyond accuracy, however, the most important feature of the new festival is 
its goal to entertain. "If people are not entertained, if the quality and 
richness of the experience are not there, people are going to go somewhere 
else," Smith explains.

For more information about the new Virginia Renaissance Festival or about 
other REC activities, call (415) 897-0047.
--Capt. Mikal Warchola of Carpathia

More detailed info:
May 4- June 16, 10 am- 7 pm. Admission $14.95.
Contact: Pat Hess, REC, 181 King's Hwy, Fredericksburg, VA 22045. (540)371-
Site: 1175 Kings Hwy, Fredericksburg, VA 22045
Booths: 75
No pets, camping, pay phones. Showers, privies for participants only. Camping 
and motels nearby.

That's all the info I have-- hope this helps!

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