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Rural Missouri Magazine

Renaissance Festival
Jefferson City, Mo.

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by Heather Berry

For one day a year, Jefferson City’s Binder Park transforms into a simpler world by going medieval for the Renaissance Festival. This year, the Missouri River Regional Library and Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Department celebrate the 10th annual gathering Saturday, June 26.

From noon to 6 p.m., visitors to the rain-or-shine event can enjoy the revelry of jesters and jugglers, meet the reigning king and queen, try their hand at highland games such as caber tossing (log toss) and spear throwing, watch the art of blacksmithing, see chivalrous men fight in a field, listen to the tunes of a merry band of elves or watch the art of bellydancing. Guests may also enjoy the strolling performers as they interact in costume and speak with visitors.

According to the Missouri River Regional Library, the six-hour festival draws nearly 5,000 people each year. The cost — $3 for anyone age 2 and up — keeps this an affordable event for families to enjoy together. There are numerous food and beverage vendors on site, too. And should you need to buy armor or a sword, there’s probably a vendor there to sell you one.

While it’s all great fun, the jousting is what seems to be the biggest draw for attendees, according to the event planners. Three times that day, jousters such as Joe D’Arrigo (on our cover) of Hanlon-Lees Action Theater, perform on horseback in a blaze of color and speed, battling with authentic weaponry that would have been used in a 14th century joust.

For more information and directions to this year’s event, call Taryn Prewitt at 573-634-2464, ext. 235, or e-mail her at tarynp@mrrl.org.

 

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