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Celebrating to a faire-thee-well in Kings Valley
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Celebrating to a faire-thee-well in Kings Valley

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Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire: The Plague Edition is set for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, rain or shine.

The 25th anniversary celebration of the festival will take place in the middle of a farmer’s field at Grant Road and Highway 223 in the Kings Valley Area. The event was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

“We’ve been getting more than the usual amount of phone calls just making sure we’re going to go ahead with the faire,” said Adrian Hughes, an organizer whose mother, Leslie Engle and her husband, Ken, founded the festival when they moved from California to Oregon. “As long as it’s legal to do so, we will do so in a legal and safe fashion.”

Pandemic precautions include a requirement to wear face masks, which will be available at the ticket booth for those who do not have one. Lanes have been widened, adding 10-foot buffers between the sales booths. The Fyne Feasting area has been enlarged for added elbow room.

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The event will offer more hand-washing stations and privies than in the past, and hand sanitizer will be available. Barrels of potable water have been added throughout the faire so participants can get a drink as needed, free of charge.

Jousting tournaments, a faire favorite, are set for noon and 4 p.m. both days, even though medieval jousting had ceased by the time of the Renaissance. “We just have knights reenacting games of the old medieval joust at a renaissance faire,” Hughes said with a laugh.

“People come to the faire looking for a lot of different things,” Hughes said. “Mom went to the first event of what is now called the Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Southern California. She started this is a fairly reasonable reenactment with a marketplace to support itself.

“I don’t know what it is about it that got me,” Hughes said of participating in renaissance faires as a youth. “It gave me permission to be and experiment with others openly. Unlike most entertainment, it’s very personal. There’s a lot of street play that goes on besides what’s on the stages. It helped me deal with people. For all the work it is for just one weekend, it’s hard to live without it.”

Those who plan to attend the faire are reminded that cell service in the area is spotty. Because of this, credit and debit cards may not work for payment at some booths, so it’s a good idea to bring some cash. While high temperatures in Kings Valley are expected to register only in the mid-70s this weekend, the sun can be intense; attendees are reminded that about one-third of the festival grounds are in a shaded area called Friar Tuck Forest. To visit this part of the festival, you must cross a bridge.

Jane Stoltz can be reached at 541-812-6078 or jane.stoltz@lee.net.

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