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Renaissance Festival continues after flooding

Larshell Green

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Locals and visitors will have the opportunity to experience the Village of Albright during the 16th annual Louisiana Renaissance Festival. The six weekend festival will take visitors to Albright on a journey complete with elements of history, art, music and comedy.

Historical demonstrations from the returning Elizabeth I, merchants, unique live demonstrations from artists, a variety of foods, a royal tea, beer, whiskey and wine tastings will be included. Musical and comedic performances include belly dancing, bagpipe performances, glassblowing demonstrations, duelists, puppet shows, jousting, a knife throwing show and more. 

“[The festival has] sixteen acres and over a dozen stages, counting the musicians, side performances and interactive stuff that we do,” said CEO of the Louisiana Renaissance Festival Alvon Brumfield. “No other festival around here I know of has an interactive component, much less one as good as us. You travel to other places and other Renaissance festivals and they talk about much more interactive we are than other shows.”

The Renaissance Festival was impacted by the flood last March, as well as the recent flood in August. Although concerned individuals offering donations contacted the festival, Brumfield instead asked for donations to go to their non-profit organization or cleaning the fairgrounds in March. 

As a result of the damage in August, Brumfield asked prospective patrons to buy tickets early so they could get a discount and to get money to fund the second cleanup effort. According to Brumfield, after asking for volunteers for the festival, hundreds showed up in March and August. Some volunteers included members of the Mormon community and members of the Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce Board.

“Here, locally in town, people showed up from New Orleans and Baton Rouge,” said Brumfield.

“We even had people from Tennessee to drive in and help us. Some of them brought stuff like clothes and foods. It was like, ‘We don’t need this,’ so we brought it to people in the community who needed some of this stuff.”

Brumfield recognized the urgency of those who needed aid before the festival, as it was months at the time. Permanent buildings, benches, computers, cameras and other items floated away or suffered damage. 

“Pretty much anything that we had that was movable floated away,” said Brumfield. When the second flood came, I told people ‘If your family and friends need help, go help them first. If you don’t know if your neighbor needs help, go knock on the door. Find out.’”

Despite recent flooding, Brumfield acknowledges the Renaissance Festival opening on time as a testament of local recovery.

“We have new stuff every year,” said Brumfield. “We have two floods this year and we still added a new stage. It kind of says, yea we’re back. Tangipahoa Parish is back for business. We’re open for business. We’re ready to continue our recovery.” 

Once a month, the chamber highlights a business. This month, the Louisiana Renaissance Festival will be featured and members and visitors will visit the fairgrounds for the event. President and CEO of the Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce, Melissa Bordelon, praised the festival for the amount of people that it draws to Tangipahoa Parish. 

“The businesses and surrounding areas benefit from that traffic of the Renaissance Festival,” said Bordelon. “We’re pretty lucky to have them here and call them our own. This is going to no doubt be the coolest After Hours of 2016. Our business community is going to head out to the Renaissance Festival and go back in time and enjoy an evening learning more about the Renaissance Festival and giving us a little taste of what we’ll experience when we buy tickets and go on the weekend.”

Bordelon stated that the Annual After Hours event will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., on Thursday, Nov. 17. She explained that one of the reasons that people join a chamber is for networking.

Director of Marketing and Communications for the Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce, Megan Mosher describes the annual networking event that is intended to be beneficial for business in the community. 

“After hours is an opportunity for business members to come together and network to meet with other business members in the community all at the same time allowing our sponsors to showcase them and their businesses,” said Mosher. 

The Louisiana Renaissance Festival will be open from 9:45 a.m. until 5 p.m., rain or shine, at the fairground located at 46468 River Road Hammond, Louisiana. 

The festival began on Nov. 5-6 with Mask Weekend. Heroes and Pirates weekend will be on Nov. 12-13, Nov. 19-20 will be Celtic Weekend, Nov. 25, 26 and 27 will be Time Traveler’s Weekend, Dec. 3-4 will be the Weekend of Romance and Dec. 10-11 will be the Fireworks Finale. 

Tickets will be available online or the gate of the festival. 

Single day adult tickets are $20 and single day children tickets are $11. Two separate days adult tickets are $38 and are $20 for children. Three separate days adult tickets are $55 and $28 for children. Four separate days adult tickets are $70 and $34 for children. 

For more information, visit larf.net, call 985-429-9992 or visit them on Facebook.

 
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