Entertainment and education wrapped in one


File Photo

This year, the Louisiana Renaissance Festival will hold activities with themes such as Mask Weekend and Veterans Day among others. The festival features educational entertainment like the above show in the Village of Albright in the 16th century.

Diamond Hollins, Staff Reporter

The annual Louisiana Renaissance Festival returns this year to educate and entertain with activities relating to the Renaissance era.

Every weekend from Nov. 3 to Dec. 9, the festival returns to the Village of Albright and the 16th century. Themes include Mask Weekend and Veterans Day. Despite this setting, the festival will also offer Greek, Asian and Mexican food. 

Bethany Baker, a sophomore psychology major, has attended the festival since she was 3 years old. 

“My first time attending was in 2001, and it became a sort of family tradition,” said Baker. “My family started taking me every year. Going to the festival became a time for my family and me to bond and spend some time together. One of the biggest misconceptions is that the Renaissance Festival isn’t really family oriented, but in reality, it really is.”

According to Founder and Owner of LARF Alvon Brumfield, attendees can expect entertainment, education and shopping at the festival.

“As it pertains to entertainment, there are 65 shows every day that span to 30 minutes, and there is something for everyone in these shows,” said Brumfield. “Regarding education, there are countless artists who do demonstrations. There is actually a whole section where nothing is for sale, and attendees just learn about history and get hands-on experiences. People get a chance to see how things used to be and get a feel for it.”

Baker shared that the Renaissance Festival is not only a place for fun but can also be educational.

“While the Renaissance Festival focuses a lot of fun at shows, there are a lot of educational things that happen,” said Baker. “The living history center is a part of the Renaissance Festival, and the living history center is basically this whole area dedicated to preserving what it used to be like in the Renaissance time period. Also, you can learn, go to make baskets, and make cheese and milk goats. There’s a place where you can learn to make glass and candles.”

Brumfield described the shopping experience at the festival. 

“As it pertains to shopping, it is not just a place to buy things,” said Brumfield. “People actually get to watch artists handmake something they want.”

Baker’s favorite aspect of the festival was the friendly vibe that everyone at the festival emanates.

“The people and the atmosphere was so friendly,” said Baker. “There was so much positivity. People were so positive and weren’t afraid to come up and talk to me and entertain me.”

Brumfield explained how the festival can be a break from modern technology. 

“In today’s society, phones are everything,” said Brumfield. “We sit on the couch and just stay on our devices. The festival is really just a good opportunity to get out of the house, put down your phone, learn about history, and meet and socialize with new people.”

Brumfield discussed how the festival aims to be entertaining as well as educational. 

“There is a lot of laughter,” said Brumfield. “Parents are laughing. Kids are laughing, and they are laughing for different reasons, but that is truly the beauty of our art form.”

Baker shared how the festival sets Hammond apart from other places around the world.

“There are not many places where you can see a comedy, educational and audience participation shows all in one place,” said Baker. “Most of the shops are unique to Renaissance Festivals, and you cannot find them online or at any other festival. Also, there is not another place you can go where you can see jousting. You really cannot see two men run full speed at each other with lances anywhere else but in Hammond.”