Whether by cart and buggy or by peasants walk, travel down the Enchanted Highway between mid-July and the first day of September and spend a moment in a newly established Kingdom.
The first ever Renaissance Fair to plant its banner in North Dakota has at last arrived, and with it established a benchmark for future merriment.
“It just made total sense to me,” Randy Jones, a financial backer of the event, said. “Enchanted Highway and Enchanted Castle... you’ve got to have a Renaissance Festival.”
Entering the festival’s camp, the open field grants freedom to visitors of the fiefdom who wish to partake in the bustling atmosphere of medieval life. From market vendors and barbers to wondrous curious and bards, the rolling green hills and farmland of North Dakota have been transformed into the countryside of Medieval Scotland, the fantastical forgotten realms of Faerun, or even the Shire...that choice is up to the imagination of the beholder. If you’re lucky, you might just cross paths with the King or Queen.
While the growing pains of launching such a spectacle were evident, the prospect and high hopes for progress and improvement were on the smiles of everyone present.
Vendors at the event included Prairie Rose Meadery, Designs by Emily Elizabeth, Tati Marie and much more who were happy to be included in the inaugural event. Event sponsors and locals are hopeful that the success of this first renaissance fair will attract more local businesses to join in on the fun and to provide authentic and time capsuled service.
"I would like to have more vendors,” Jones said. “That would help support the local community."
Entertainers hypnotized visitors, bringing them into worlds of adventure through song and performance. From The Lovely Dozen, an ensemble of belly dancers, to the Minstrel Rav'n, who travels from far away lands, telling songs and singing stories.
"Renaissance fairs are the one place where the cares of the world are left outside the gates,” Minstrel Rav’n said. “When you come in here you are now part of our world, where pretty much everything is okay."
One entertainer, Queenie Heart, whose eye catching appearance matched her amazing talent bedazzled the crowds with contortion and dexterous acrobatics. A resident of Fargo, she made every effort to be involved in fair’s origin.
"I have always been a fan of renaissance festivals, it something I've have been going to since I was a teenager,” Queenie Heart said. “Since I live in North Dakota, I knew I needed to contact whoever was putting this on and come up with a show to do for it because I would love to see this grow into something as big as the Minnesota fair."
Visitors such as Velma Amundson had a great time touring and mingling at the different booths.
"I enjoyed the Renaissance Festival,” Amundson said. “This is small, but has a lot of room to grow and the things that are here are a blast."
She continued, “The people here are fantastic, they're wonderful to sit and talk with even."
Peasants and Nobleman alike were welcomed to explore the worlds within the festival -- even those who were in possession of “Fairy Boxes” or phones as non-renaissance fair goers would call them.
Weather didn’t help with the launch of the festival as temperatures soared and the sun dampened the mood of festival attendees. The test run opening provided the festival with a chance to troubleshoot any unforeseen problems and learn from their mistakes. Most importantly, the fair demonstrated that the strength of demand within the community was present for such an event,
Jones recognized the need for improvement moving forward as the festival continues to grow throughout the summer, and hopes to be more accommodating to the customers and the surrounding community.
"The first day, we didn't have umbrellas and it was brutally hot,” Jones said.
Quick to identify the concern, Jones brought in umbrellas for vendors and visitors on the second day.
“In that sense, we gave customers a bit of comfort which is paramount to me," Jones said.
The Renaissance Fair will be every Saturday and Sunday til the first day of September, between the times of 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
For more information, please visit their Facebook page at the following link.