ALTA, WV (WOAY) – From dragons to unicorns, jousting tournaments, and Faerie queens, it can only mean the West Virginia Renaissance Festival has made its month-long return yet again.
This week’s One Tank Trip is taking us to the medieval village of Essex found tucked away within Greenbrier Valley. Every midsummer throughout the month of June the village welcomes King Edward and Queen Eleanor with merry music, jugglers and magicians, and a grand joust in their honor.
People are invited to the village to take part in the merriment and experience the wonders of the Renaissance times.
“We have the equestrian arena behind us here where we have jousting shows during the festival and the Equestrian Chaos, which they are doing their rehearsal right now,” say festival coordinator, Dawn Kieninger. “Then we have six more stages of live entertainment throughout the 9 hours of the festival and we rotate one show after another, so music, juggling, magic tricks.”
Held every weekend throughout the month, each one is greeted with a new theme. The festival kicks off this weekend, June 4 and 5 with Pirates Landing, which includes a special guest, The Crossjacks, and a 4 p.m. pirate costume contest. Admission is free for veterans, active military, and first responders for the opening weekend. Guests can enjoy savory foods, WV local brews, games, a petting farm, unicorn riding, and much more.
Now making the festival’s fourth season in West Virginia, guests seem to keep finding their way back to the magic and fun the renaissance fair provides every year.
“Both of us have been working at renaissance festivals for pretty much our who careers, and when we decided we would like to settle down somewhere we both really liked West Virginia and decided to come here, and then we realized there was not a renaissance festival here and we should bring something the rest of the country has been enjoying to West Virginia,” Kieninger says.
Next weekend, June 11 and 12 will be Celtic Crossing, which is followed by Beer and Barbarians on June 18 and 19, and Bacchanalia on June 25 and 26 for the grand finale.