From the start, the Ohio Renaissance Festival had a plan to survive this year and all its twists and turns. Stay alert. Pay attention to what is going on. Be adaptable to change. Make policies and guidelines based upon the necessary safety of their cast, crew, and guests. It was a solid plan. But as a quite famous and notable captain once said; “Sometimes, you can make no mistakes, do everything right, and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life.” – Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

A Message From Cheryl Bucholtz, Marketing Director of the Ohio Renisassince Festival

To type the word ‘canceled’ broke my heart. Honestly, I couldn’t type the word without tearing up for days and talking to someone in person or over the phone was worse. The safety and health of patrons, and all involved in creating the magic that is the Ohio Renaissance Festival was first and foremost and I applaud the festival owners for their decision, knowing it was not an easy one to make. Wanting to provide festival goers what they love and enjoy in a safe environment could have been made possible – safety protocols and precautions were going to be implemented, we consulted with the local health department, dotted the I’s and crossed the t’s. At the end of the day, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.”

Cheryl Bucholtz

So here we are, on the other end of something we never thought would happen. The very idea of going a year without the scent of funnel cakes and the grit of the dust kicked up into the air seems nigh blasphemous. Can a faire cry? Can it mourn? Or is it that we, its participants and guests, are so subconsciously connected that we can feel one another’s sorrow and project it onto the place that has been our home for years? Either way, tears have been shed on the grounds and added to the collective memories that faire accumulates like pages of a scrapbook.

So where do we go from here? With a mere 398 days between us and the next season, how are we to while away the lonesome hours until we can safely return to our home? The future is not entirely without opportunities to explore, and ORF is committed to offering its people some outlet for our energy and need for company even in these trying times. The faire may be closed for the season, but there are still goings-on at the grounds of Renaissance Park.

Things are still happening at Renissance Park

The 1572 Roadhouse BBQ

The 1572 Roadhouse BBQ will remain open, serving up delicious food and drinks as long as weather permits. This Thursday’s Bike Night (8/13) we will have local band Two For the Road lighting up the stage from 6:30 pm to 9 pm. The 1572 is open Thursday – Sunday and there is absolutely nothing stopping you from coming by in full garb to enjoy the fun.

Free Friday Flicks

Free Friday Flicks is set to continue a while longer, offering a great way for the family to come out and enjoy an evening under the stars while watching movies on a pirate ship! Keep an eye on the 1572 Facebook page to find out what the weekly movie will be. This Friday (8/14) will be our re-screening of The Dark Crystal, as our last attempt was circumvented by a hole in the inflatable screen.

Brimstone Haunt

Brimstone Haunt plans to run during the October 2020 haunt season! They are currently accepting applications if you’re interested in giving people a good reason to scream this fall. We will be doing some future blog posts focusing on their progress, giving you an up-close and terrifying look into running a haunt and how they are changing the game in the current climate.

Other Upcoming Events

As Renaissance Park still has permission to operate under the current guidelines and mandates, there are plans in the works for small, limited capacity events to help get us through this difficult season. Nothing definitive as of yet, but it will be worth it to keep an eye on the Ohio Renaissance Festival Facebook page so you know what’s happening and when. These little adventures will go a long way towards helping us get through the next year.

Social Media

It’s going to be an odd season, there’s no doubt about that. But there are ways to alleviate the loss and keep your connections to faire strong! We’ll be working through social media to help you reach out to one another in more ways than one. Our Instagram has Fan Fridays and we’d love to see what you’re doing to keep faire in your heart during 2020. Show us your crafting projects or throw out a toast like you’re on stage at Pub Sing! Display your mug collection or let us see your best faire memory from years past. You could be featured on the official ORF Instagram page, just post your images with the hashtag #orfstories.

We will be periodically promoting faire organizations through our Facebook page so you can help support the greater ren faire community through this troubling time. Many vendors and performers have lost their livelihood through the multiple faire closing this year and several groups have popped up in recent months, offering a way to showcase their workmanship and talents to a wider audience. the Ohio Renaissance Festival has a vendor list available on our website if you’re after that one specific piece this year. Just find the booth you are after and look them up online.

If you’re looking to join the community, try the Fans of the Ohio Renaissance Festival Facebook group. This independently run page is full of long time playtrons and rennies who have come together to celebrate and share their experiences the whole year long. It’s a great place to connect and reminisce.

The Pub is singing out 2020, see you in 2021!

With a little effort and patience, we will get through this. It’s okay to be upset. It’s even okay to be angry. But the best thing we can do for ourselves and one another is to reach out and give yourself the opportunity for a truly phenomenal season in 2021. We will do our part to help you get through this.

The last pub sing of 2019

Messages from your friends at Faire

ORF is my one and only place of peace where I can get away from life and pretend I’m a beautiful person where when I see an image of myself I’m not repulsed by what I see and people are actually happy to see and have me around a time where I can ‘play’ again I truly feel like I’ve lost a security blanket this year and it will be sorely missed.”

Philly Aiden Mahurin

Ren is my safe place and has always been super important to me. Ren is where my extended family is, but their safety means the world to me. As sad as I am to see it close, I am also happy because it means we can all come back next year for another great season♡”

Halee Ewing

Renfaire has risen in me a sense of childlike wonder, enchantment, and magic that few other places or events can stir. I will miss this years festivities with all my heart, but I refuse to let the spirit of renfaire die within me while waiting for 2021. It helps knowing that while I work to keep the soul of renfaire alive, that the decision to cancel faire this year is keeping us workers alive.”

Sam E Hrodwulf