Jaycees to hold Renaissance Faire at local PAL Club

Organizers planning a Renaissance Faire in Huntington over Memorial Day weekend 2010 met recently with officials of the PAL Club, where the event will be held.
Organizers planning a Renaissance Faire in Huntington over Memorial Day weekend 2010 met recently with officials of the PAL Club, where the event will be held. Photo by Cindy Klepper.

The Huntington Jaycees Renaissance Faire will be held May 27-June 1 at the Huntington PAL Club, officials of both organizations announced Tuesday, Dec. 8.

The event - featuring reenactments of the Renaissance period, entertainment and vendors - will be held in an undeveloped area of the PAL Club's 80-acre site on Riverside Drive, says Capt. Tom Hughes, the PAL Club's secretary-treasurer.

"This is going to be a historical based Renaissance Faire with flights of fancy added in," explains organizer Todd Nightenhelser, president of the Huntington Jaycees.

"It sounds like fun and it's a way for the PAL to generate some income," Hughes says.

The festival won't interfere with the PAL's youth baseball program, Hughes says, because baseball takes a break over the Memorial Day weekend.

The Jaycees have signed a three-year agreement to rent the PAL grounds for a Renaisaance fair.

Nightenhelser saw a Renaissance fair, an event he says is growing in popularity across the United States, as the perfect answer when he began looking for a new event to bring to Huntington.

"NASCAR is the only thing growing faster than Renaissance fairs," he says. "I have been going to Renaissance fairs for years."

Nightenhelser defines the Renaissance period as the years between 1490 and 1652, and says the local festival will focus on a yet-to-be-determined period within that time frame.

The event will require between 80 and 120 actors as well as 60 to 80 people to work behind the scenes, Nightenhelser says. Most of the participants will be local residents, he adds.

Festival organizers plan to build some permanent structures on the PAL grounds, while others will be moveable, Nightenhelser says. A Web site for the festival is being developed, and event schedules will be announced about a month in advance, he says. There will be an admission charge for the festival.

Hughes says the PAL leadership has no problem with the sale and consumption of alcohol at the event, something that derailed Nightenhelser's original proposal to hold the festival at a Huntington park. City ordinance prohibits the use of alcohol in city parks.

Hughes says the PAL Club's building is frequently rented out for wedding receptions and other events where alcohol is served and that the sponsoring organization will obtain the necessary permits and provide supervision.

For additional information about the Renaissance Faire, contact Nightenhelser at 358-0690 or president@huntingtonjaycees.org.

Complete caption: Organizers planning a Renaissance Faire in Huntington over Memorial Day weekend 2010 met recently with officials of the PAL Club, where the event will be held. They include (from left) volunteers Melissa Antonides, Vicki Myers, James Pinkerton and Tom Stouder; Huntington Jaycees president Todd Nightenhelser; Huntington F.O.P. President Terry Stoffel; and PAL Club Secretary-Treasurer Tom Hughes.