New features for Alabama Renaissance Faire

The Alabama Renaissance Faire will take place Oct. 22–23 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at Wilson Park. Admission is free.

Billy Warren, Florence City Historian, is a member of the Roundtable, the group responsible for the Renaissance Faire.

“This is our 30th year to hold the Faire,” he said. “Over the 30 years, certain things have become classic, and people expect them to be there.”

Warren said there will be several new features this year, such as archery and group dancing. Warren said the theme this year is Italy.

The Madrigal Singers will perform at the Faire, he said. There will also be a medieval woodworker.

Visitors will have the chance to learn some medieval Italian dances.

“We will also have some more dances that will be participatory that people coming to the Faire will be invited to,” he said. “They are simple so the dance instructor can teach them in a matter of minutes and it’s great fun. Those things will happen intermittently without actually being on the entertainment schedule.”

Another new addition will be a medieval archery set up, Warren said. There will be a crossbow and two or three long bows made in medieval fashion.

“People will actually get to shoot these, with blunt arrows of course,” Warren said.

Visitors will also have the chance to buy handcrafted items made from iron, he said.

“We are not allowed to have an open fire in the park but they use propane and they’ll actually make things out of iron while people watch,” he said.

Senior Tyler Blevins has not been at the Renaissance Faire in a couple of years, but will go after learning of the new features, he said.

“I can’t think of many who wouldn’t want to see the iron working demonstrations,” he said.

They will also have their standard features, Warren said. The metal group, Kazoky, will be there to perform their sword fighting routine.

They will have tables around the fountain near the information booth where they will set up about four to six chessboards.

“Those boards are never idle,” Warren said. “Education has been our major goal all throughout the years. That’s the reason we have always had the art and the sonnets and the chess. Our goal is always that a family can come to the Faire, have a really good time, and never spend a penny.”

Junior Kerri Colwell said she would be interested in going.

“I want to go because I like to see the people dress up and act,” she said. “Plus, it’s something not normal and I like that kind of stuff. If I want to go in full out dress, no one would ask questions.”