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Appalachian Renaissance Faire makes its debut

Hannah Swayze • Updated Oct 15, 2017 at 12:54 PM

What if history was incorrect?

What if Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to a healthy set of twins before she was captured and beheaded? And what if those twins were not only born healthy, but sent to the new world and settled in Appalachia? Well, those who attended the first Appalachain Renaissance Faire found out.

The inaugural faire was held in an expansive field next to the East Tennessee Distillery in Piney Flats. The field was divided into many sections, including a fairy glen, where visitors can meet fairies and hear their music. There was also Bubbleton, the children’s area, and Warrior’s Way.

The day began with an opening ceremony and parade and closed with another ceremony and show. Workers then began preparing for the day’s festivities at the faire.

“Our renaissance faire, anyway, is different than most renaissance faires in that the renaissance faires you see everywhere else are kinda based in Europe and they have a king and a queen. We do not,” said Penny Hussey, president and CEO of Appalachian Renaissance Faire Inc., and who played the role of the Dowager Duchess.

Over 40 vendors were set up, selling various items like chain-link jewelry, renaissance crafts and clothing. Along with vendors, there were plenty of activities such as axe throwing and archery and candlemaking to take part in during the day. And there was almost a constant line for tickets throughout the day.

“There's something here for just about everybody,” Hussey said.

The faire features almost constant live entertainment between four different stages. Music, storytelling and dancing filled the faire. 

And of course, no faire would be complete without live jousting, presented by the Lords of Chivalry, which compete in tournaments twice a day while the crowds cheer them on. 

As with any other faire, half the fun is dressing up and seeing others in costume.

Sunny Tanner, who is also involved with the faire, came as her character Pip, the Dragon Keeper. She wandered the grounds pulling behind her her dragons and their eggs. Even her leggins were covered in dragons.

“I’m an overgrown kid who still likes to play dress-up,” Tanner said with a wide grin on her face.

The fair continues today from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.appalachianrenfaire.com. Tickets can be purchased at the door. 

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