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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

An enchanting escapade unfolds at the Great Plains Renaissance Festival

The Great Plains Renaissance and Scottish Festival is a time to dress and adorn thyself based in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries of Europe.

On April 20 and 21, the annual festival and art fair at Sedgwick County Park boasted colorful costumes of mystical made-up creatures, fairies, knights, maidens and more. For those who missed it, there will be another at Oklahoma City fairgrounds on Nov. 9 and 10. 

“It’s fun to see people in their different costumes for different seasons,” EJ Brooks, dressed as a ghost pirate, said.

Vendors at the festival this year included small businesses selling clothing related to the festival, mystical art pieces, wood and metal renaissance style art, knives, crochet and beyond. Each vendor is hand selected by the event’s coordinators to fit the theme and styles at the festival.

Dawn Wood, the vendor coordinator at this year’s Renaissance festival, has loved these festivals since she was 10 years old. She has been working with Renaissance and pirate festivals since 1997. Wood and her husband Chad had a booth this year for the company they founded, Ancestral Trading Company, which is 75% handmade items. The couple is from Des Moines, Iowa, and she was working on a belt with her ankle loom the whole weekend.

“(My favorite things are) the family feel and connection with history, teaching younger folks about history and it all being intertwined,” Wood said.

Aside from vendors, the food and drink booths are just as eclectic as the clothing each year of the festival. A fan favorite is the large turkey leg, which comes in different flavors. This year, Wyldewood Cellars, based in Peck, Kansas, provided the festival with wine. 

The events at the festival appeal to not only adults but also children. Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, there was a rubber duck hunt, acrobats with Flow Foundry, fire eating, historical reenactments, belly dancing, jousting, fairy storytime, and more. 

The historic Scottish highland games are one of the most popular events for spectators. There are different classes based on height and weight for the games. Those who participated competed in caber toss, hammer throw, weight over bar, sheaf toss, stone throw and weight for distance.

“I am here to clap and watch my friend throw things,” Brooks said. “Watching people do these amazing feats of throwing stuff that high in the air is kind of crazy.”

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About the Contributor
Cheyanne Tull
Cheyanne Tull, Reporter
Cheyanne Tull is a first year reporter, photographer and illustrator for The Sunflower. Tull is double majoring in graphic design and journalism & media production. She hopes to work for outdoor publications in the future combining creativity, nature, and rock climbing. Tull uses she/her pronouns.

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