By Katie Loethen
In the heart of the modern world, there is a realm where time bends, history and fantasy come together. The St. Louis Renaissance Festival is an event that takes you to a magical land to make you forget and escape the hustle and bustle of contemporary life.
It is a place where knights, jesters, maidens, witches, ghouls and so much more, fill the air with a sense of wonder and passion; where history is not confined to textbooks but brought vividly to life in a celebration of art, culture, and the enduring human spirit.
Held once a year for six weeks, every weekend from Sept. 16 through Nov. 22, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and located in Wentzville, Missouri, the festival is packed to the brim with people who are filled with wonder and excitement and dressed in carefully detailed outfits. Visitors can explore and see all that’s been set up for the fair.
There are people who dress in just a t-shirt and shorts and others who are covered head to toe in plague doctor gear.
“Everybody’s always excited to be here because it is neat and exciting. We get everybody from those who just want something casual to people who want to deck out the whole outfit,” said Brittney Rankin, an employee for one of the vendors at the festival.
Besides clothing, there were all sorts of diverse types of booths such as a puppet booth and weapon booths. Festival goer Joshua Dennis said the weapons were his favorite part of the Renaissance Festival.
“I saw diverse types of guns. It was awesome. There were pistols, and everything was incredible,” Dennis said.
Of course, the stalls that people love the most are the food stalls. The smell of deep-fried foods that fairs usually have as well as the smell of meat being cooked filled the air. Everybody could hear the sizzling of food being made and the joy and laughter of the festival goers.
St. Louis Ren Fest welcomes all to come and join and see the wonders of the fair. Despite age or ability, you can see, taste, feel, and explore all there is to offer. The people are also incredibly welcoming, friendly, kind, and patient.
“I’ve worked in several people-oriented businesses and is by far the best community and customer audience I’ve worked for,” employee Brandon Abraham said.
So, there is no fear at this event, only welcomeness and the freedom to let your creative self go. The only negative thing about the fair was that there were complaints about the heat.
Employees strived to make sure that the people felt an experience like they were in another era. The atmosphere has character as well, with buildings looking like old shops and having that rustic look to them with signs hanging down showing what they are selling. Employees were in character the moment you walked in, giving off a feeling of warmth and welcomeness.
“This is my third year so far I love it here the fair is like home, and everybody is my family,” Rankin said. “Everybody is super friendly, I’ve never met a bad person doing this.”
Now, not only do the customers and employees get along, but the fair runners and employees are machines when it comes to setting up and taking down the fair.
“We usually do it in a 24-hour period,” Rankin said, demonstrating the resilience and the hard work the employees do to make the fair an enjoyable experience for all the people.