The folks who erect all the tents on Crawford Avenue across from Walmart are proposing a Renaissance fair in Confluence Park Oct. 26, 27 and 28. They have the support of the city's community revitalization committee, and are now looking for free use of the park.
John Robert Harvey, the guildmaster who goes by the name of Capt. "Traveling" Jack Drake, attended a work session of the city council last week to explain his plans for Confluence Park.
Clad from head to foot in period clothing, he and his wife, Brenda Soluna Gonzales, said their needs are limited to use of the park and city support through banners, exposure on the city website, etc.
Consistency in a site is a crucial component to the festival's longevity and success, Harvey stressed. Confluence Park is a known, central location. Although access to the park is likely to be impacted by construction of the alternate truck route, he believes that obstacle can be overcome in the first year when the event is small. He envisions a temporary village, a pirate battle on the small pond, room to set up camp and, in the future, jousting in Horse Country Arena. The lake would provide a safe range for catapults and medieval trebuches. The event would start small and hopefully grow over the next several years.
"We've been doing these events for a while now. We have the personnel, we have most of the equipment," Harvey said. "We do everything in house — security, EMS, everything. We sure don't need any money."
He explained the fairs are funded through admission fees, vendor fees and by the guilds which are already raising funds for future Renaisaance fairs.
His guild, the Taliesin's Bardic Freetraders, wants to host two premier festivals in western Colorado. The first will take place in Grand Junction in April; the second would be in Delta. Many fairgoers come out of California, he said, and travel a circuit that takes them east in the spring and back to California in the fall. He wants to capitalize on the existing circuit to bring in re-enactors who share his passion for the bardic traditions of music, storytelling, dancing, hospitality, poetry and heralding.
In addition to drawing the re-enactors headed back to California, the October date would allow schoolchildren to participate in the historic experience. They could observe the daily life of a primitive village, watch pirates fire a cannon, learn about the history of chivalry, and watch historical music performances.
In late October there could be rain, there could be snow, there could be wind, Harvey acknowledged. "Those of us who do this and do this seriously understand that living outside is part of the historical experience."
In Harvey's eyes, a Renaissance fair is "straight history" with no "silly hoo-hah."
The community revitalization committee began investigating the possibility of a Renaissance fair prior to the city's decision to drop the Council Tree Pow Wow. Hayley Suppes, chairman of the organizing committee, said the Renaissance fair touches on all 12 attributes of a successful event, as outlined by Downtown Colorado Inc.'s community revitalization plan. One positive aspect is the opportunity for local merchants to get involved in the event itself.
Harvey said both admission prices and vendor fees will be kept low, to encourage participation. "We want to make Delta a destination, not just a place people drive by to get somewhere else."
Council members feel the special event warrants consideration and they directed staff to begin working out the details.blog comments powered by Disqus