Renaissance Faire in Genoa this weekend
The Renaissance is making a renaissance – if you’re a baby boomer, you’ll remember the Renaissance fairs of the ’60s.
In the ’90s, the emphasis is on living history, not just dressing up.
“It’s really the very ‘in’ thing now,” said Laurie Hickey, one of the organizers of the first Genoa Renaissance Faire, set for next weekend in Nevada’s oldest town.
People are coming from as far away as Nebraska and Florida to attend the event sponsored by L&M Promotions and Living History International.
Why a Renaissance fair in Genoa? Because, Hickey said, the fairgrounds were booked and other spots too expensive.
“And we’ve never had one in Genoa,” she added. “Why not?”
Besides being living history, a Renaissance fair can be fun.
You can hire a group called the St. Charles to arrest your brother-in-law and stick him in the stocks. Or maybe you want to have a group of Renaissance ruffians in full costume douse your friends with water – all in fun, of course.
The Ashford Academy of Renaissance Arts will entertain fair-goers with competitive combat using the “schalger rapier” and perform period dances and demonstrate period crafts.
The Military Order of Saint Boniface Actors Guild strive for an accurate portrayal of the Landsknecht, mercenaries of the Holy Roman Empire. This group’s demonstrations will feature armor-making and cleaning, fighting and fencing (English style) plus a period repast and history exhibit.
The St. Sebastian group are archers and will show Renaissance-style archery and equipment.
“They study it. They live it. They’re very accurate,” Hickey said of the actors’ groups.
The history lesson is invaluable, partly because it seems so real.
Some 60 students from Gardnerville Elementary School are taking advantage of an offer to tour the fair site on Friday to learn about the Renaissance.
The event will be open to the public July 26 and 27, 10 a.m. to 6 on Saturday and to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Cost is $3.50 per day, but kids who enter the coloring contest and take their colored-in picture of a castle can get in free.
Coloring contest entry forms are available at Antiques Plus, Heritage Tours, Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce, Genoa Courthouse Museum and Scolari’s in Gardnerville. Judging will be held each day, and prizes will be awarded the following week. First prize is a $50 savings bond.
Along with performers will be craftspeople offering crafts from the period. They will be dressed in the appropriate costumes as well.
On Sunday, a special Renaissance-style “prenuptial” ceremony will be held. One of the actors, a priest in real life, will perform the rite for a Valley couple who will actually get married the following weekend.
“It’s going to be a regular mass, a lot of Latin,” Hickey said. The ceremony is set for 11 a.m.
Authentic (ale and melons with fruit) and some not-so-authentic (soda pop) refreshments will be sold by the Carson Valley Sertoma Club.
If you’ve never been to Genoa, just take Genoa Lane from Highway 395 and turn left at the four-way stop in the center of town, heading south. The fair will be held in a field next to the last house.
“You won’t be able to miss it,” Hickey said on Thursday. “We’ll be erecting a castle out there this weekend.”