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Renaissance Faire fights on despite construction on South Oval

Elaborate costumes, giant turkey legs, fire eaters and role playing consumed the South Oval Saturday afternoon at the 36th annual Medieval and Renaissance Faire.

Students, faculty and community members experienced live performances and a variety of food which turned the clock back to medieval times.

Crowd members interacted and a few were called to stage as a sword-fighting comedy troupe known as “The Dueling Fools” challenged each other in the Outdoor Performance Center.

Sarah Jeu, guildmaster of the Medieval and Renaissance Performer’s Guild, said the Medieval and Renaissance Faire is the oldest Renaissance Faire in the state of Ohio.

Ohio State’s Medieval and Renaissance Faire started in 1972 and became an annual event in 1975.

“The renaissance faire is held to entertain and enrich the community in the cultural heritage surrounding the medieval and renaissance periods,” Jeu said in an email.

Preparation for the event takes an entire year.

“We prepare for the faire all year with different sub guild meetings which are focused on specific skills, such as fighting, dancing, song and music,” Jeu said. “We also have regular guild meetings where different general skills and knowledge of history is shared and practiced; such as projection, accents, medieval and renaissance terminology, the hierarchy, and daily life in the time period.”

Henry Heimbrock, president for the Council for the Medieval and Renaissance Faire, said one of the challenges this year was planning the event around construction of the South Oval.

“Our second option was moving to the RPAC, but to avoid confusion we decided to stick with our traditional faire location,” Heimbrock said. “We get a lot of people from Renaissance Faires around the country … but our main goal is to provide as good of an experience to the average student as possible.”

Andrew Santarelli, a third-year in computer science and engineering, said the highlight of his day was “The Dueling Fools” act.

“The actors entwined sword fighting with comedy, and when they got interrupted by certain things they were able to improvise and go on, which was pretty impressive,” Santarelli said.

In addition to the Medieval and Renaissance Faire, the council hosts one other major event each year in January known as “Madrigal,” a dinner theater variety show and fundraising event for the faire.

The Ohio Union Activities Board reimburses the council $3,000 to pay performers, vendors and host the faire, Heimbrock said.

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