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Trip Back in Time

Highland Renaissance Faire takes visitors back to the Middle Ages

11th annual event to feature jousting,
skits, music, shows

EMINENCE, Ky. (June 2016) – The land of lords and ladies, kings and peasants, and jousting knights were the passion of Linda and Ed Frederick. They had a desire to bring this magical world to life and managed to do so right in their own back yard by creating the Kentucky Highland Renaissance Faire in Henry County, Ky.
In 2004, the couple founded what has become a festival atmosphere that “has a very family feel to it,” said Holly Kinderman, Events Director and the Fredericks’ daughter. “It’s a beautiful site that feels like you have stepped back in time. Patrons love the interaction with our cast and entertainers.”
A variety of artisans, merchants, entertainers, great food and drink combine to keep patrons streaming through the doors for this one-of-a-kind experience. Located in the heart of Eminence, Ky., on what were once acres of farmland, this fairy tale setting will take patrons back in time when friars and barbarians alike roamed the woodlands.

Photo provided

Re-enactors display colorful period dress to celebrate the annual Highland Renaissance Faire in Eminence, Ky.

“There is entertainment all day for all ages, and it’s not your everyday average entertainment. It’s jousting, sword swallowing, comedy and re-enactment. There’s a lot to take in,” said Kinderman.
Jousting exhibitions are always a crowd pleaser. “We have three live joust shows each day. We also have nine other stage areas and have continuous entertainment through the day.”  
The Kentucky Highland Renaissance Festival will open for the season on June 4 and run through July 10. It is only open on weekends from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Gates discounts for the opening weekend includes two Adult Passes for $25 or a Family Pack for $35. 
The premise of the festival is that of a Renaissance festival set in the 14th century village of Briarwood in the Highlands of Scotland in the time when Robert the Bruce ruled. It is the first permanent Renaissance festival in the state of Kentucky.
The recreated festival features a variety of vendors and artisans, many local, who offer an assortment of handcrafted items in the country faire-themed atmosphere. A cast of actors portrays life as it would have been during this time in history.
Live entertainment includes a mud show, storytellers, sword swallowing, a Renaissance-themed science show, armored jousting, dancing, a circus-style sideshow, comedy shows and musicians performing historical and original songs. Throughout the festival there are family oriented activities, such as craft demonstrations, human-powered rides and games of skill.
“This will be our 11th year for the Renaissance Festival,” Kinderman said. “We believe the success and growth each year comes from something different and new for families to do right here at home.”
The festival also includes local craftspeople, such as members of the Henry County Arts & Crafts Guild. Malissa Beatty, a Henry County artist who serves as Guild president, said the Guild was invited to participate “because they wanted to have local artisans represented.” The Guild has had a presence at the Renaissance Festival since 2006. They are known by their 14th century name, “The Guild of Henry County.”
Participating members dress in costume, based on the concept of life in 14th century Scotland. “We built our own building there on Main Street a few years ago,” Beatty said. Artwork is hung on the walls or displayed outside, weather permitting.
Beatty displays her paintings, doll making and scrimshaw horns. She also makes costumes using leather onto which she paints images, in addition to leather hats and bags. Other members who will display their artwork include Bruce and Karen Nethery (leather, artwork), Buck and Janet Harrell (leather items and jewelry), Earl Fortner (leather belts, billfolds, bags, etc.), Thomas Lamkin (writer, photographer), Alexander Franklin (longbows and arrows) and Debbie Hinds (metal art and candles).
“We have customers from all over the world who come, and our most popular member’s item for sale is Bruce Nethery’s wood turned mugs,” Kinderman said. “He makes them from tree branches, and people buy them to carry and drink from.”
Last year, an average of 1,500-2,000 people attended daily, Kinderman said. “They come from all around – Louisville, Lexington, Cincinnati and even from Texas.”
Other events held throughout the year at the site include Froggy Field Party (August), Central Kentucky Celtic Festival & Highland Games (September) and A Dickens Christmas Festival (December).
This year’s Highland Renaissance Festival features the following themed weekends: June 4-5 is Opening Weekend; June 11-12 is Pirate & Children’s Weekend; June 18-19 is Masquerade and Father’s Day Weekend; June 25-26 is Steampunk Weekend; July 2-3 is Tournament Weekend; July 9-10 is Celtic Weekend.

• For more information, call (502) 845-9206 or visit: www.kyrenfaire.com.

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