Having a blast from the past at N.L.'s first renaissance festival

·2 min read
Attendees at Newfoundland and Labrador's first ever renaissance fair compare costumes and exchange tips. (Henrike WIlhelm/CBC - image credit)
Attendees at Newfoundland and Labrador's first ever renaissance fair compare costumes and exchange tips. (Henrike WIlhelm/CBC - image credit)
Henrike WIlhelm/CBC
Henrike WIlhelm/CBC

Newfoundland and Labrador has become a hotbed for various comic cons and conventions in recent years. Now, one of the founders of the ever-popular Sci-Fi on the Rock convention has gone medieval with his latest venture.

The province's first official renaissance festival was held in Paradise over the weekend, welcoming hundreds of visitors to the event, many dressed in period-costumes, for a weekend full of markets, demonstrations and celebration.

The event was the brainchild of Darren Hann, the founder of Sci-Fi on the Rock, which began running conventions in 2007. Today, the event welcomes thousands of visitors each year.

Henrike Wilhelm/CBC
Henrike Wilhelm/CBC

Hann says while there are plenty of events highlighting other genres, the time was right to bring a true renaissance festival to Newfoundland and Labrador.

"We wanted to bring one here because there's never been one here before," said Hann. "Especially after coming out of COVID, we wanted to get everybody outside, dressed up and enjoying themselves.

"We've got comic book conventions, sci-fi and anime conventions," said Hann. "It's time for a renaissance festival. We got together, me and some friends, and decided to put it off. From the way it looks, everybody is enjoying themselves and having a great time."

Henrike Wilhelm/CBC
Henrike Wilhelm/CBC

Organizers provided plenty for festival-goers to enjoy, including tarot card readings, dancing, axe throwing, and archery demonstrations, costume contests, and the Knights of NL tournament, to name a few.

According to Hann, the people of the province have a broad range of interests, leading to the renaissance festival carving out a niche of its own.

"A lot of people have a lot of different interests", said Hann. "People are into sci-fi, comics, anime, and renaissance. There are people that are into everything. The events that we have now here on the island between the different organizers, we're hoping that there's something there for everyone."

Henrike Wilhelm/CBC
Henrike Wilhelm/CBC

Hann said that he hopes given the response from vendors and visitors alike, the renaissance festival can become an annual event, being held each August.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador