Tennessee Renaissance Pageant: Enjoyable for Entire Household

photograph by Lee Rennick

Huzzah! The Tennessee Renaissance Pageant (RenFest) provides a lot of enjoyable for everybody at Covington Glen. Situated on lands by Fortress Gwynn close to the village of Triune, this previous weekend many attending lords and girls of the realm got here festooned of their most elegant interval apparel to peruse the market and benefit from the many actions provided. The occasion will proceed for the remainder of the weekends in Could and Memorial Day.

That is the thirty sixth time the gates to the Glen have been opened for the enjoyment of all. Queen Elizabeth oversees the festivities along with her lords and girls, together with jousting on the lean, birds of prey performing swooping feats, a correct tea, in addition to epicurean delights like big turkey legs, a market filled with purveyors of eclectic items, and video games of talent for all ages.

“Sir” Mike Freeman, an area photographer, who owned the Glen earlier than promoting it lately to Williamson County, began the RenFest within the mid-Eighties. With the assistance of many pals, he managed it for years earlier than passing the baton to Williamson County Parks and Recreation. He needed to make sure the favored occasion continued into the longer term. The change has made little distinction, the grounds have been overflowing with guests, maybe greater than ever earlier than. And on the new Queen’s tea greater than half of the friends acknowledged that they’d by no means been to the RenFest.

The pageant takes guests again to sixteenth century England. It’s all a part of Freeman’s childhood dream to construct and dwell in an actual fortress, an concept he conceptualized when he was in highschool. As soon as he started constructing his dream, he discovered individuals sneaking onto the property to see his creation. He began the RenFest to offer these occupied with seeing the fortress an opportunity to take action, hoping they would depart him in peace the remainder of the 12 months. It labored, now 1000’s upon 1000’s flock to the grounds each weekend in Could.

Followers of RenFest are loyal and so they have supported Freeman in manifesting his dream. By means of his community of pals, he has acquired stunning handmade tapestries, gained a group of actual armor, and added on to the Fortress Gwynn for greater than 40 years. He has been aided by high quality craftsmen of each castle-building ilk, together with stone masons, engineers, and purveyors of all types of antiques and interval reproductions. His aim is to make it as practical as doable. And he has.

“My unique plan was to have a flat roof on the 2 important towers, defined Freeman, “however the roof leaked, and my spouse begged me so as to add a unique type of roof.”

In response to Freeman, the unique two towers have been based mostly on a Welsh border fortress, however he has added a hand-made copper roof. Over time he has additionally added a passage between the 2 towers, and about 4 years in the past he started engaged on a eating corridor modeled after one present in a French looking lodge. The fireside will likely be sufficiently big to face inside and there will likely be a working drawbridge. It’s all a part of his unique plan to carry weddings on the grounds. He intends to ultimately lease it out for weddings and different occasions, nonetheless, the pandemic put a little bit of a kink into his plans. He now says it is going to be two extra years, as a lot of the development is finished by grasp craftsmen working alone or in small teams, just like the copper roof on the brand new eating corridor. Guests to the pageant will nonetheless be capable to see his stunning fortress and grounds without cost with admission to the occasion.

This 12 months has seen the addition of some new occasions. One is Excessive Tea with the Queen. Held at 3:00 within the afternoon, it takes place in a tent below shady bushes. A direct hit, the women and gents attending benefit from the pleasant humor of the Queen, two of her girls in ready, a gentleman of the courtroom and family-friendly leisure These in attendance shared tea, pastries, tea sandwiches, and small desserts with the very gracious queen.

“We got here to the tea as a result of we thought it will be enjoyable,” stated one “Woman” Mary.” And it’s my daughter’s birthday at this time.” The queen even sang the younger woman her personal distinctive birthday ditty.

As previously, there are themed weekends. The second weekend featured Arts and Crafts, with the introduction of a Fairy Home / Hobbit Habitat Constructing Contest. Each Saturday and Sunday homes made solely of pure supplies have been displayed and prizes gained. The habitats various significantly with a lot of creativity proven by all contestants. Different weekends embrace a pirate weekend and a Celtic weekend.

The RenFest runs each Saturday and Sunday in Could, plus Memorial Day. Hours are 10:00 a.m. till 6:00pm. There’s free parking and free admission for kids 5 and below. This 12 months the Tennessee Renaissance Pageant will solely be accepting money for meals and drinks.

For data on leisure, craft distributors, and how one can get to the pageant, go to their web site at http://www.tnrenfest.com/. Anon! Translation: See you on the Pageant!

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