JANESVILLE—The “tomfoolery” returns this weekend to Janesville’s Traxler Park.
The bubble blowers, jugglers, weavers, joke tellers and roving minstrels are ready to perform.
So are the brewers of the ales and lemonade and the 45 merchants who produce homemade goods to sell to the faire-goers.
After two years on the sidelines, the Janesville Renaissance Faire, with its roving minstrels, costumes and tomfoolery, returns to Traxler Park Saturday and Sunday.
The event features entertainment—both moving and on five stages—and food and drink.
And the entertainment can’t be beat. Three times a day there will be a cannon firing. Who doesn’t enjoy a good cannon firing?
Chris Last and his wife, Heather, and Shelly Kakouris and Kyle Cook are the organizers of the two-day event that mixes fun with learning.
Do you want to get a first-hand feeling of how it felt to wear an armor helmet? Head to the Guild of St. Michael tent.
“You can feel how it would feel to be a soldier of that time,” Heather Last said.
The international group “Bounding Main” will perform maritime songs in pirate-type garb on the Mayfair Stage.
“They’ve been with us pretty much from the beginning,” Last said.
This will be the 15th Janesville Renaissance Faire. The event was canceled the past two years because of COVID-19.
While providing two days of entertainment, the faire also raises scholarship money for students in Rock County and fills the shelves of non-profit ECHO, Inc., (Everyone Cooperating to Help Others), that assists local people in need.
“We’ve given about $40,000 in scholarship money to Rock County seniors,” Last said.
This year, a secondary scholarship is in the name of Rick Kakouris, one of the founders of the Renaissance Faire, who died last July. “We’re going to be able to help more kids pursue their dreams,” Last said.
The Looking Glass became a primary sponsor of this year’s faire, which helped secure the various acts. Last said she is also is grateful for the Janesville City and Parks Department for its help in preparing the grounds for the two-day festival.
“Our community partners are who help keep us going,” Last said.
The faire can introduce children, as well as grownups, to the Renaissance period of European history.
The five entertainment stages—Mayfair, Raptor Corner, Caravan Corner, Children’s Corner and Military—will have acts going from the 10 a.m. opening to 6 p.m. closing each day.
The Children’s Corner will feature games and crafts, story telling, pirate cooking classes and the SeaStars Bubble Act.
Last said the bubble act is advanced from the typical bubble setup.
“They have all kinds of devices they use,” Last said. “It’s fun to watch.”
The marketplace features 45 merchants. Spinners and weavers will show how wool is turned into yarn.
“It’s fun while you’re learning,” Last said.
Tomfoolery at its finest.