Join the 26th Year of Stepping Back into the Time of the Renaissance

Author: C.L. Harmon
Category: Event
Date Published: May 11, 2022
Pretty woman smiling in surprise in Reaissance dress

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Ye ole fes­ti­val in yon­der Musko­gee is to com­mence with fun and games of yore once again. Indeed, the sea­son is upon us when we can traipse back into yes­ter­year and immerse our­selves in a long-ago time. Kings, queens, knights, chival­ry, damsels, lords, joust­ing tour­na­ments, and arti­sans of old bring his­to­ry alive for those eager to expe­ri­ence Medieval cul­ture in a set­ting fit for a king at the 26th annu­al Renais­sance Fair host­ed at the Cas­tle of Musko­gee.

Man and woman dancing in Renaissance costumes

Unique­la­homa recent­ly had an oppor­tu­ni­ty to sit around the prover­bial round table with Matt Hiller, Vice-Pres­i­dent of the com­pa­ny Cas­tle of Musko­gee, and Becky White, Gen­er­al Man­ag­er, to learn what’s new in the kingdom.

“We def­i­nite­ly have some changes this year. We have a new stage area for the “Wheel of Death.” This is a new per­for­mance of two 20-foot wheels spin­ning with an acro­bat per­former using the inside and out­side of the wheels. It’s brand new and excit­ing,” Hiller said. Ich­a­bod Wain­wright is a per­former and is well known on the fes­ti­val cir­cuit for his tal­ent on the wheel as well as skills and stunts in fire, knife, and ax per­for­mances. Accord­ing to Hiller, sev­er­al oth­er new acts are sure to amaze and aston­ish lest ye for­get about the unique shops, shows, and the Cas­tle to par­take as well.

And of course, the main favorite attrac­tions will be back, such as Birds of Prey and JOUSTING! The joust­ing is the cen­ter­piece of the fes­ti­val… the extreme sport of its day, cou­pled with a fas­ci­nat­ing show of those incred­i­ble birds of prey. As for those enter­tain­ing spec­ta­tors on the field of val­or, joust­ing for hon­or, and min­gling in the cas­tle walls and court­yard cor­ri­dors, many of these per­form­ers in their col­or­ful cos­tumes are local per­form­ers from around the state. 

There is a core cast of 120 per­form­ers who even attend four weeks of class­es devel­op­ing their char­ac­ters and accents. Many of these char­ac­ters are based on real peo­ple in his­to­ry and can even give fes­ti­val-goers his­tor­i­cal infor­ma­tion. Oth­ers are real­is­tic to the time, the 1560s, and por­tray indi­vid­u­als who lived dur­ing that time. Enjoy one of the many shows and per­form­ers to see the real­i­ty for yourselves. 

Okla­homa may seem like an unusu­al place to plant a Medieval Euro­pean attrac­tion, so we thought a bit of his­to­ry was in order. When the fair began 26 years ago, it start­ed with just one week­end and has grown to six.

“My father Jeff is the mas­ter­mind behind this mess,” Hiller quipped. Hiller’s father, Jeff, had gone to one of the old­est fes­ti­vals in the coun­try in Cal­i­for­nia and had such a good time that he decid­ed there need­ed to be one in Okla­homa so he didn’t have to trav­el halfway around the coun­try to expe­ri­ence it,” Hiller said. 

He start­ed by get­ting sup­port from oth­er groups work­ing at fes­ti­vals in Texas and Kansas. It began small with a tent, a few small build­ings, and not much. But over the years, peo­ple kept com­ing, and new acts would sign-on, allow­ing the Hillers to extend the fair by adding anoth­er week­end every few years. Jeff Hiller is a for­mer teacher and lover of his­to­ry. As such, he has made the edu­ca­tion­al ele­ment of the fair an essen­tial aspect for chil­dren and adults alike. One might say an edu­ca­tion­al theme park of Medieval history.

Renaissance man juggling fire

With it now being a six-week fes­ti­val, acts that work the var­i­ous cir­cuits can lock down spe­cif­ic blocks of time, mak­ing it appeal­ing to them to want to per­form at the Cas­tle, which gives fes­ti­val-goers more enter­tain­ment options. In addi­tion, the suc­cess and longevi­ty of the fes­ti­val afford the man­age­ment to pick and choose from the best acts and per­form­ers in the busi­ness, Hiller said. He added that many of these per­form­ers com­ment how much they love the fes­ti­val because the peo­ple in Okla­homa are some of the nicest any­where in the coun­try. And this means they choose to work our fes­ti­val every year.

There is much plan­ning and cre­ativ­i­ty in every aspect of the fes­ti­val to bring a clas­sic time back to life. From the edu­ca­tion of the per­form­ers to bring­ing on skilled arti­sans of old Europe to the minute details of the atmos­phere and real­is­tic enact­ments, every aspect is designed as an adven­ture. If one has nev­er been, it is undoubt­ed­ly a social event worth discovering…even for those not his­to­ry enthu­si­asts. One can even dress up in cos­tume, dine like a king or step back to a sim­pler time and place where his­to­ry comes alive.

The Renais­sance Fair began April 30th and ran every week­end through June 5th from 10:30 am to 6 pm. To learn more about shows, attrac­tions, arti­sans, and spe­cial events, vis­it okcastle.com. Tick­ets are avail­able to pur­chase on their website.

From ye old Cas­tle Website:

The Cas­tle invites one and all to join the fes­tiv­i­ties of the Okla­homa Renais­sance Fes­ti­val! Step back into 1569 Eng­land to expe­ri­ence the roy­al quest for knight­hood, a full-con­tact Joust­ing Tour­na­ment, Birds of Prey exhi­bi­tions, and trav­el­ing Acro­bats! Her Majesty will declare a theme to hon­or the vis­it­ing Kings each weekend.

We look for­ward to cel­e­brat­ing the joy­ous return of the fes­ti­val this upcom­ing spring. The Cas­tle has updat­ed pro­to­cols to ensure your safe­ty so that we may con­vene and com­mence in mer­ri­ment once again. HUZZAH!

Crowd of Renaissance Faire attendies

Unique­la­homa

Unique­la­homa | Facebook

Unique­la­homa | Twitter

Unique­la­homa | Instagram

C.L. Harmon

C.L. Harmon

C.L. is an award-winning journalist who spent many years in the newspaper and freelance fields. In addition to holding reporting and editing positions throughout his career, he also owned and operated a newspaper for several years. He was born, raised, and continues to reside in Oklahoma.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

advertisement

What is Uniquelahoma?

Perhaps to start, defining what we are not is the best way to describe us. We are not a news source to find the latest local and world events or a magazine to...

Unique Quote

You will never know how much you affect someone’s life. Because knowing how much is not as important as believing that even the smallest of impacts is enough to change the world for them. - C.L. Harmon
X
%d bloggers like this: