Renaissance Festival transports visitors
TNE Editor
/ Categories: Feature, Local

Renaissance Festival transports visitors

Published 4/27/17

Bailee Harmon

TNE Writer

The Renaissance Festival at the Castle of Muskogee started years ago when Jeff Hiller, owner of the Castle of Muskogee, went to a Renaissance festival in Southern California.

“He has a great time, learned some things and decided to open one up back home,” said Matt Hiller, vice president of the Castle of Muskogee. “He is a teacher by trade so he thought that it could be a great learning tool, and it was a plus that they already had a castle.”

The Renaissance is a period of European history that marked the beginning of the Middle Ages and the rise of the modern world. It is usually considered as the beginning of Italy in the 14th century. This time period was a time of activity, spirit and great revival of art, literature and learning in Europe. The era lasted up until the 17th century, where it transitioned from the medieval period to to the modern world.

“Every year the Renaissance Festival grows,” said Hiller. “This year we decided to extend it to another weekend, which makes it go into the June month.”

People travel from all over the world to visit this festival.

Hiller said that the Renaissance Festival at the Castle of Muskogee is one of the best ones there is, and it is located right here in Northeastern Oklahoma.

Characters who participate include volunteers, street performers and actors. The Castle has 15 different stages where the actors put on different shows.

“The most popular event at the Renaissance is usually the jousting,” said Hiller.”It seems to be the largest attraction, and it takes place twice daily.”

Throughout the streets there are people who interact to give everyone the feel of escaping the real world and entering the Renaissance era.

Angela Hunt, the Painted Lady, is a peasant story-teller who has been coming to work at the Renaissance Festival for two years.

“I tell stories to children of unicorns, magic, fairies and the queen,” said Hunt. “Sometimes I even sword fight with them. I also tell dark fairytales for adults.”

Hunt said her favorite thing about being a part of the Renaissance is the connection she makes with people. Each person is in their own world. They come to visit and have their own hopes and dreams.

“Another memorable thing for children that takes place at the Renaissance is the scavenger hunt,” said Hiller. “When they enter the gate a character is there to greet them and asks the children to participate in the quest. The children will take a clue and go to visit whichever place they are sent to, such as the blacksmith shop, where they will watch them make horse shoes or something. Then from there they will get another clue. At the end of the quest, around 4:15 p.m. that evening, the children will get knighted by the king or queen.”

There are tons of shows and attractions for adults, as well. There are magic shows and acrobats, beer stands and fun for all ages.

People who do not get a chance to work there or volunteer still love to dress up and live the part while the Renaissance is in town.

“I dress up and attend every year,” said Rebecca Batchelor, repeat Renaissance visitor. “I got interested in it when I was a child and my aunt took me. I have attended every year for at least the last 10 years, and there has never been a time when I did not dress up. It is an era that I have always been fascinated by. I find the whole reign of Henry the VIII and his children fascinating because if they had never existed then religion as we know it may have never happened and the country we live in might not have existed.”

The Renaissance Festival is open Saturdays and Sundays. It starts April 29 and runs through June 4. They open every day of operation at 10:30 a.m. and close at 6 p.m.

For more information, call Hiller at 918-687-3625.

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