Opening Day at the West Virginia Renaissance Festival

Steady rain failed to dampen participants’ spirits at this lively Allegheny event.

The West Virginia Renaissance Festival is back for a second season! Taso Stavrakis and Dawn Kieninger first opened the festival in 2018, and were undeterred even after a fire destroyed a large Elizabethan-style barn earlier this year. The festival kicked off this past Saturday, June 8th, and will run every weekend in June.

My weather app assured me the rain would stop before I arrived, but when the gates opened at 11am, a steady drizzle still threatened to ruin the fun. Rain already turned the dirt roads at Hollow Hills Farm to mud. Thankfully, this wasn’t enough to deter the festival’s dedicated actors and actresses from performing.

Washing Well Wenches

The popular Washing Well Wenches put on a wet and sloppy vaudeville act with plenty of audience participation. These hilarious ladies are just two of many troop members who perform at Ren fairs all over the country.

The Green Man

The Green Man, a personification of Nature, greets visitors to the West Virginia Renaissance Festival as they come in the gate. He towers above the crowd and happily poses for pictures.

Wheel of Death

The festival featured several talented performers, including Ichabod Wainwright and his rotating Wheel of Death. The wheel rises three stories above the ground, but he seems to handle it with ease.

Joust of Combat

Knights of the human and fairy realms engaged in the sport of jousting and combat at a festival more focused on fantasy than history. Three contests pitted the forces of King Edward and Queen Eleanor of Essex against fairy Queen Titania of the Elvenwood Broceliande. Eleanor accused the humans of kidnapping her husband, King Oberon.

This story element added something unique, and characters even interacted with festival goers and included them in the plot.

Night Wings Birds of Prey

Master falconer Ash Cary displays a majestic falcon during his show “Knightwings: Birds of Prey” at the Blasted Tree stage. It’s hard not to be impressed by these majestic birds.

The West Virginia Renaissance Festival at Hollow Hills Farm, 23439 Midland Trail East outside Lewisburg, WV, is open from 11am to 8pm June 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, and 29-30, 2019. Admission is $16 for adults, $6 for children ages six to twelve, and children under six get in free! Call (304) 992-6178 for more information.

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Author: Michael Kleen

Michael Kleen is an author, raconteur, and occasional traveler. He has a M.A. in History and M.S. in Education. He enjoys studying military history, folklore, and philosophy.

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