LEAD, S.D. (KELO) — When you take a trip to the Black Hills, it’s like going back in time to the old west.
But this weekend in Lead, visitors will go even further back in time… all the way to the Renaissance Period.
“We have mermaids coming this year, a puppet show, so many different activities, and so many vendors.” Executive Director Leigha Patterson said
And that’s just the beginning. Attendance doubled at last year’s Renaissance Festival, so this year you can expect even more entertainment.
The city of Lead and the Renaissance festival company are taking it up a notch here in year three for the festival. As they’ll be adding new events at a second location. That being jousting and a knights tournament, to take place several times on Saturday and Sunday.
“We usually do four shows a weekend, so it’s a lot of endurance,” Order of Epona Owner Jill Vaudrin said.
Order of Epona has been training its horses for more than a year to prepare them for the Renaissance games.
“So we have a 14-foot long lance coming at them, and a person with a shield, and another horse. It’s a lot to overcome, we usually start them with our medieval games first to get them used to things moving around them and making noise and then we normally move onto jousting after that.” Order of Epona Owner Jill Vaudrin said.
Jill Vaudrin says it’s a show the whole family will enjoy.
“Crowd interaction, it amps our horses up and it amps us up. So we have a really good time with these. We’re pretty used to being the center of attention at these places, because jousting is not something you see everyday. So we’re used to it, and we try and meet out with our public, we go walk around the fairs. We really really try to interact with our crowds” Vaudrin said
The festival is not only for people of all ages, but for people from all walks of life.
“We’re hoping that we get doctors and lawyers, and the such, the white collar folks in dress up, because we won’t know who they are, and this gives them a chance to have fun.” Local Performer Steve Stewart said.
And none of this would be possible without the community’s support.
“The City of Lead and the Lead-Deadwood School District has really helped us out this, this year. To be able to transport between both locations. We have school buses that’ll be shuttling people continuously from the city park to the jousting arena.” Patterson said.
“I’m expecting that the vendors will do well, the city will do well, and the chamber will do well. And the community will do well and have a good time. Renaissance fairs are to have a good time.” Stewart said.
“Just come out and have an open mind, have fun. You don’t have to dress up, if you want to, it just makes the experience so much more.” Patterson said.
While it’s only been around for a few years, it’s on its way to becoming a summer tradition in the Black Hills.
The Black Hills Renaissance Festival takes place June 10th and 11th, with events starting at 11:00 a.m (MST).