Archive for Thursday, September 4, 2003

Renaissance Festival opens with a bang

September 4, 2003

As trumpets blared and drums pounded in the background, a bearded man on horseback, bearing an aggressive spirit and the weapons to match, screamed to an enthusiastic, disorderly crowd of on-lookers.

"Do you wish to see torture? Do you wish to see amazing bloodshed?" he asked as his horse pranced back and forth between the wooden guardrail and the concourse. The crowd screamed back with anticipation.

What's this? An assault waiting to happen? A display of renegade justice? Or, gasp, a public execution?

Naw, just the opening weekend of the Kansas City Renaissance Festival and the hoo-rah-rah before one of the festival's signature events, the jousting exhibition.

To the untrained, the situation may seem savage, a page ripped from the playbook of "Braveheart" or "Conan the Barbarian" or even the World Wrestling Federation, as knights exchanged verbal banter before finally dueling on horseback all with the goal of defending "one's honor."

But, to a throng of spectators, the exhibition provided an entertaining reprieve on Labor Day.

The Kansas City Renaissance Festival, now entering its 27th season, is located in Bonner Springs, just north of Interstate 70. The festival, scheduled to begin its season Saturday, was rained out over the weekend; the downpour stopped long enough for the assortment of witches, fairies, ogres and royalty to entertain the masses on Monday, Sept. 1.

The Renaissance Festival runs for the next six weekends, through September, and concludes Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 13.

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