WATCH NOW: Newbourne Village Renaissance Fair revamps Chippewa Falls Fairgrounds | chp

Audrey KorteChippewa Herald

Master Ticktock, also known as Executive Director Mark Lakowske, oversees the Newbourne Village Renaissance Fair in Chippewa Falls.

It has been a labor of love to make the fair work this year. The space where it stands off 50th Avenue once housed another annual Renaissance fair that closed about a decade ago.

“It’s a whole new festival, a whole new business,” he said. “There have been other shows on these grounds, but we’ve been the first for about 10 years or more.”

The work required to prepare the space that had sat idle for all these years was taxing. Lakowske said that in the months leading up to the opening, there were a lot of sleepless nights.

“It was literally like an archaeological dig. We were digging up paving stones, we were removing trees and replanting them somewhere else, we were planting things, clearing the ground,” he said. “You name it, we basically hit every area of ​​this place and redid it in some way.”

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But the response has been incredible, he said. People go out, have fun, and attendance doubles every weekend. The fair also employs over 100 artists and over 50 vendors have settled in, which is good in a tough economy. About 95% of the items on sale at the fair are also handmade.

“It’s an incredible moment. Fun for everyone, kids of all ages – young and old,” he said. “We have a hypnosis show on stage, the unicorns have arrived and Her Majesty the Queen is here. We have a little bit of everything for everyone.

Lakowske said families are looking forward to a day of interaction, fun, food and shopping.

“Just come have fun and play again,” he said. “Check your issues at the door.”

Erika Nordmeyer and Victor Volney traveled to the fair from Minnesota. They spend a lot of time traveling to Renaissance fairs, they said.

“We actually have a Facebook group — Midwest Festival Companions — for like-minded people here in the Midwest,” Nordmeyer said. “We literally go from fair to fair to celebrate. It’s really super. Everyone is welcome to join us.

Nordmeyer and Volney said they were impressed with Newbourne Village. It’s new so they weren’t sure what to expect.

“It’s actually really wonderful,” Nordmeyer said. “Considering they just opened, it’s so good. I really like to dress up and see, for example, all the vendors and the cool things people are doing. That’s my big inspiration here.

Volney said he had gone to Renaissance fairs for most of his life and hoped to continue to do so.

“In Minnesota my mom and dad took me when I was very young and I go there almost every year of my life now,” he said.

He too appreciates craftsmen and craftsmen at these types of events.

“There’s great skill and talent showcased here with the salespeople,” he said. “I hold on to that and obviously seeing people in costume always influenced and inspired me as a kid. I adapted my life to be like, I’m going to dress up and go to those.

Both agree that the main point of this lifestyle is not just to dress up, but to meet new people, connect and travel the country. They travel to Kansas City, Colorado and Texas for certain fairs.

“It just brings people together, so much closer,” Volney said.

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