Marysville’s St. John’s Lutheran Church will host a six-day Renaissance Faire at Pastime Park in Plain City starting on Saturday, Sept. 23. The event will be held over three weekends as a way to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation.
The church will transform the park into a 16th century village complete with costumed villagers, vendors, artisans and entertainers all ready to transport visitors back to Europe in the middle of the last millennium.
“We started planning, really, a year and a half ago,” said Kim Zacharias, one of the coordinators of the event. “And since it’s been 500 years, we wanted to do something really special.” The event was made possible by the collaboration of St. John’s and other local churches as well as support from the surrounding communities and fundraising events.
The Reformation was a major historical event in the history of the western Christian world as it marked a separation from the Roman Catholic Church. As the story goes, on Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther, a German priest and theology scholar, nailed a document to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany titled, Ninety-five Theses or Disputation on the Power of Indulgences.
His writings were a list of propositions and criticisms of how the Catholic Church was exercising its power and influence. The event gained popularity throughout Europe and led to the separation of more groups from the church and the authority of the Pope. Although there had been several critics of the Catholic Church, it was Luther’s document which acted as the catalyst for the separation.
“We want to bring people here and to learn about this event,” Zacharias said. “We even priced our tickets in a way to make it more family-friendly and to spotlight the communities of Union and Madison counties.”
Those who have attended previous Renaissance fairs will recognize much of the entertainment. There will be jousting, skills games, music of the time and artisan workers such as leather workers, blacksmiths and chain-mail making.
“Everything will be period, the costumes, the food and the events,” Zacharias said. “Most Renaissance Fairs are set in England whereas ours will be the middle of Europe. It will include German, Irish and Italian features among other countries.” She said getting the appropriate vendors to create the world was a struggle at times but that it has really come together.
“We initially thought of one weekend, but with the planning and logistics, we thought it should at least be two,” said Zacharias. St. John’s also wanted to make sure the event was open to children and families so they decided to extend it to three weekends over the end of September and into October.
Also on Sept. 23, there will be a Madrigal Dinner at 6:30 p.m. in the park. The event will require separate tickets at $80 per person and will feature a four-course dinner catered by Bluescreek Farm Meats with musical performances in between each of the four courses. The proceeds of the event will go to the victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
The fair will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sept. 23 and Sept. 24, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 and Oct. 7 and Oct. 8 at Pastime Park, 344 N. Chillicothe St., in Plain City. Tickets will be $5 a day, plus the extra ticket for the Madrigal Dinner and parking will be free. For more information, visit: www.refren.org.
Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.