The inaugural Lavonia Renaissance Festival will come to Lavonia Memorial Park Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.
LAVONIA – A festival like none Franklin County has ever seen will be at Lavonia Memorial Park Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. with a grand processional.
The Lavonia Renaissance Festival will make its debut with entertainment, vendors, costumes and other activities straight out of the Renaissance.
A “Renaissance festival” is a crafts, arts and food festival with scheduled entertainment that pays homage to that period of time.
The Renaissance is a historical period following the Middle Ages, also known as the Dark Ages.
“Generally described as taking place from the 14th century to the 17th century, the Renaissance promoted the rediscovery of classical philosophy, literature and art,” an entry at history.com says. “Some of the greatest thinkers, authors, statesmen, scientists and artists in human history thrived during this era, while global exploration opened up new lands and cultures to European commerce.”
Communities throughout the country have had Renaissance festivals for many years.
The idea for Lavonia’s festival came from Main Street Director Vivian Young while she was looking for an event to replace the annual Land of Spirit play on the 2019 calendar.
“I’ve always wanted to do a Renaissance Festival,” Young said.
The event has turned into more than just a day to have fun and learn about the time period.
City crews have worked to prepare the Memorial Park for the festival by doing maintenance and renovations that will benefit the park in the future.
“The city has just gone overboard,” Young said by lighting pavilions, running electricity, landscaping and cleaning out the creek in the park.
And, the festival has served as a chance for Lavonia to partner with Franklin County High School in a number of ways, Young said.
Young gave special thanks to A Greater Lavonia Community Inc., the FCHS Anchor Club, the FCHS Art Department, the FCHS Drama Department, the FCHS Band, the city of Lavonia, Mayor Ralph Owen and Council Members Eddie Floyd, Harold Harbin and David Howell, the Lavonia Police Department, Lavonia Volunteer Fire Department and EMS and the Lavonia Downtown Development Authority Board, Ladonna Andrews, Daniel Brown, Nora Chambers, George Dick, Amber Holcomb, Diane Toney and Esther Moulder.
Entertainment will include performances of “Romeo Revised,” a rethinking of the classic Shakespeare tale by the Franklin County High School Drama Department; the Carpenter Academy of Irish Dance; The Clay Babies Folk and Celtic Duo; a magic show by Twister the Clown; and the Shoal Creek Stranglers bluegrass folk band.
Odran Mac Gearail, an Irishman, will serve as master of ceremonies.
Characters from the Renaissance will wander the festival.
They will include King Henry and Queen Anne (played by Mike and Linda Poss), the Resident Hag (Duchess Blakely), The Jester (Maggie Woodward), The Pied Piper (Eli Hanley) and Tinkerbell (Rebecca Woodward).
The festival will kick off with a Royal Processional led by bagpiper, David Gregory.
The Hart County Animal Humane Society will have a Doggie Kissing Booth.
A “Royal Menagerie” from Sam’s Path Mobile Petting Zoo will have an exotic petting zoo including a camel, parrot, kangaroo and many more.
Herds of Hooves will give pony rides and miniature horse and carriage rides (for a extra fee.)
Weather permitting, Balloon Safari will be on hand to offer tethered balloon rides (for an extra charge.)
The Tugaloo Valley Strummers will be playing their Dulcimers.
Childen and adults will be able to learn about the “Renaissance Rock Stars” at education stations through out the park.
In addition to his stage show, Twister the Clown will be on hand to make balloon crowns and swords for the kids.
Herds of Hooves will give pony rides and miniature horse and carriage rides (for an extra fee.)
There will be a variety of unique handmade crafts and art available for purchase.
Food will include traditional Renaissance turkey legs, meat pies, chicken or ribs on a stick along with some modern favorites like hot dogs and pizza.
Homemade ice cream and sweet treats will be available, as well as. fair type foods like caramel apples and deep fried goodies.
There will be forging demonstrations and the “cheese monger” will be there to discuss traditional English cheddar along with the folks from Blue Haven explaining how mead is made.
A fortune teller will also be available.
The FCHS Drama Department will man the children’s area with old fashioned games such as egg in a spoon race, sack races, and hobby horse jousting.
The FCHS Anchor Club will be painting faces.
For a souvenir, kids can make a brass rubbing to take home.
Parking will be at Lavonia City Hall, the American Legion, the Moose Lodge and overflow parking at the Cultural Center. Joe Harvey Street will be closed from the Fire Department to the Moose Lodge.
Parking at the Moose Lodge may be accessed by taking a right on to Shuford Street (next to Freds) and then a right on to Ayers Street.
Guests are encouraged to dress in medieval costumes.
There will be a $5 entry fee charged.
For more information of questions, contact Vivian Young at 706-356-1926 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Barbara Busby at 706-356-5725 or email@example.com.