Ren Faire focuses on commerce, community

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By Brad Bowman

The Kentucky Renaissance Faire continues using commerce as a way to focus on community.
Ed and Linda Frederick and Holly Sprabary, Directors of the Kentucky Renaissance Faire, have put their ideas together at the round table for possible expansion and more entertaining events next season.
Eminence Festivals and the Kentucky Highland Renaissance Fair will host the 5th Annual Halloween Festival on Oct. 26 at the fairgrounds with a collaborative cast of community and school organizations.
“It’s open to all kids and the cost of admission is one canned or nonperishable good that is donated to the local food bank,” Ed Frederick said. “It’s a safe place for kids to trick or treat and have Halloween. The (Eminence High School) seniors will do the haunted forest for $2 and the money goes for their prom.”
Pending a permit modification from the Henry County Board of Adjustments, Frederick hopes to offer new unique Halloween treats for 2014.
“We want to do a corn maze and pumpkin patch for the kids next year,” Frederick said. “There isn’t one in the county. We want to add more events next year like this and we want to have more fundraiser and community events.”
Sprabary agreed as a resident of the city, community and county, the fair will be a place for everyone in the county.
“This year we have opened up the Halloween Festival event to the other classes. The freshman class will sell hot dogs, the technology club is selling coffee and hot chocolate,” Sprabary said. “The Eminence Baptist Church will have a chili cook off to raise money for their trip to Haiti next year. All the money the groups raise will go to benefit their organizations. We want this to be a place everyone in the county can use.”
In previous years, Sprabary said the fairgrounds have hosted about 2,000 trick or treaters in just two hours. The fair’s Main Street will be decorated for Halloween along with the Great Hall, which will have hanging witches hats dangling from the ceiling and a costume contest. The city of Eminence will offer hayrides for attendees.
After the Halloween Festival, the fairgrounds will host another family focused event to close out its 2013 year.
“Our Dickens Christmas Festival is really neat,” Frederick said. “If you are here from 1 to 5:30, you will see 10 minute scenes of the entire Christmas Carol by about a dozen of our cast members. People will have time to shop and eat in between scenes and we use children in the crowd for Bob Cratchit’s kids.”
Attendees for the Dickens event can enjoy traditional Christmas Dinner, decorated scenery populated by Christmas trees and the comforting scents that invoke the holiday season like the hot English drink wassail. Linda Frederick said the culinary delights accommodate everyone’s palate.
“We have a spice cake, Cornish hens, ham and chicken dumplings,” Frederick said. “We have things for kids to eat too. We accommodate the whole family.”
As the fairgrounds expand so do the opportunities, according to Spraybary.
“We are hoping to add another music event for next year. We are also working with Eminence Speaker’s Relay for Life team. They want to do a fundraiser here that could be a concert,” Spraybary said. “We’ve talked with Kosair’s Charities for a fundraiser. People come here from outside the county and outside the state. It’s not just good for the business, but local businesses too.”
Spraybary said at the last Froggy Field Party, 70 percent of attendees were from out of county and 20 percent were from out of the state.
“We’ve had people from New Jersey here and for Celtic Fest there was a police pipe band from Minnesota,” Sprabary said. “This place draws people that will eat at local restaurants, shop at local stores during the events and the weeks of the Renaissance festival. We employ 50 part-time jobs a year and we employ a lot of local students.”
 Sprabary and the Fredericks, hope to see the possible expansions as a growth with the community.
“We’ve bought two homes here and we’ve invested in the community,” Ed Frederick said. “We are a part of this community and will continue to be a good part of this community. Through the whole eight years we’ve been here being good community members has always been one of our primary goals and we’ve never lost focus of that.”
For more information about the Halloween Festival and future events visit: www.kyrenfaire.com or call (859) 846-4530.