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The Blazer

The official student-run newspaper publication at GEHS.

The Blazer

The official student-run newspaper publication at GEHS.

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All About the Renaissance Festival


The annual Renaissance Festival is located in Bonner Springs near the Azura Amphitheater and is open every weekend from September 2 to October 15. It is also open on Labor Day and Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

At the festival, many people participate in challenges such as knife throwing or archery, watch performers and activities such as jousting, try different foods and beverages, and more according to Joshua Johnson, a teacher here at GEHS.

“There’s a lot of different things you can do,” Johnson said. “It’s got a little something for everybody, whether you’re into physically doing things, learning things, [or] if you just want to go buy cool handmade things.”

While Johnson does not work at the Renaissance Festival, he has gone to it almost every year since he was in high school because Deb Osborn, a teacher here, encouraged him to go.

“I don’t work there or anything like that, but I have gone almost every year since I was basically a freshman,” Johnson said. “Ms. Osborn was my French teacher at the time, and she worked there and she encouraged us to go. And so, I started going and I’ve gone ever since.”

At the Renaissance Festival, there are contests and tests of skill for people to participate in.

“There’s costume contests, but there’s also [things where] you can test your own skill, like archery, knife throwing, ax throwing, [and] spear throwing,” Johnson said. “There’s also tests of strength [and] corgi races [as well]. There’s all kinds of stuff out there.”

Something Johnson enjoys about the festival is seeing people dressed up in costume and getting to act differently in a safe place.

“For me, it is really awesome to see people [that don’t work there] dress[ed] up in costume, even myself,” Johnson said. “It’s almost like you get to act or pretend for a little bit that you’re somewhere else, or [that] you’re in another time. You’re in this setting where it’s safe and okay to kind of act different[ly] than you normally do.”

Johnson has gone to the festival with Matthew Mayeske and Jeffrey Cramer, two teachers at GEHS, for the past four years.

“I’ve gone [to the festival] with  Mayeske and Cramer [for the last four years],” Johnson said. “Other people have come with us as well, but we’ve been a permanent kind of thing the last four years, and it’s been a blast to go with those guys and just have a good time [and] be goofy together.”

Another teacher here at GEHS, Robert Earl Barnhill, is a cast member in the Renaissance Festival, according to Johnson.

“Mr. Barnhill is what’s called a yeomen, they’re the guys who travel around with the king, like his bodyguards as he walks around,” Johnson said. “He’s a big deal. Barnhill is somebody that people know. It’s kind of awesome.”

According to Johnson, while there is some stuff in the festival that is historically accurate, it is more for fun.

“To be honest, [the festival is] more for fun than it is historical accuracy,” Johnson said. “There’s some historically accurate weapons and sometimes costuming, but honestly it goes all over the spectrum. Like, [there are] people who try to dress historically accurate, [and there are also] people who dress as video game characters.”

When going to the Renaissance Festival for the first time, Johnson thinks that people should go in with an open mind.

“Be willing to try new stuff, like new foods, and be willing to try games you [maybe] never thought you would try,” Johnson said. “But also, be willing to engage in a little bit of fun, fantasy play. Like, if somebody tries to engage with you and they’re one of the cast members, maybe engage back with them. Have a good time.”

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About the Contributor
Mahlet Samuel, Reporter
Mahlet  is a sophomore who likes to cook and bake. Her favorite color is pink and she enjoys reading a good book.

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