GOLD CANYON, Ariz. - It’s time to head back to ye olde times in Arizona.
After closing early in 2020, the Renaissance Faire has returned to much fanfare, an event long-awaited. The village of Fairhaven opened its fares to the public, and thousands stood ready for the fun inside before the gates even opened.
"I was champing at the bit the whole year," said Phoenix resident Chris McClymonds. "I ordered armor two years ago right before everything shut down, so it’s been wanting to get back here, get to it, and visit with everybody."
Like most events, the 9-week fair was canceled last year and cut short the year prior. So the music hasn't filled the 52-acre park off Highway 60 in Gold Canyon for a while.
"2 years has been too long, just coming through the gates already feels amazing," said visitor Alex Hansen.
Hansen says this isnt just an event for some, it’s become a family that they’ve missed dearly.
"This allows me to meet people that share a same interest, and it’s amazing to see that there are multiple people who are into this," Hansen said. "There’s always people that think ‘It’s just me,’ but you’re not alone. Here it’s a welcoming community."
As thousands flocked in, they passed dozens of vendors who rely on this 9-week stretch of business.
David Stanelle uses his father's decades-old techniques to make custom wind chimes for Colorado Wind Songs. He says last year's 9-week hiatus was brutal.
"We kept busy, we had extra stock, so we were drawing and coming up with ideas and kept going," Stanelle said.
For many, it’s time to bring out the old costumes that were unused since 2020.
"Sitting in there, polishing it, collecting dust, keeping it from rusting," visitor Chris McClymonds said.
Shake that rust off, because the Renaissance is back.
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