Wednesday, September 4, 2013
KINGS VALLEY -- The Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire, Kings Valley's annual re-creation of a 16th-century English village taking place this weekend, just added a new permanent "business" to its lineup.Last year, the Renaissance Faire debuted its larger format, staging a portion of its "living history village" in what is called Friar Tuck's Forest.The added space -- a wooded patch adjacent to the grass field Shrewsbury has leased for years -- was acquired just in time to place some vendors and a stage in the shade for the event's 2012 edition.This weekend -- the event's 18th year -- will feature real buildings, including Friar Tuck's Tavern with its own stage."Last year, you could say it was a soft opening for Friar Tuck's Forest," said Adrian Hughes, the faire's proprietor. "This year, because that area isn't attached to a grass field, we were able to build permanent structures." Shrewsbury 2013 also has a larger entertainment lineup, partially the result of more similar events taking place in Oregon."We are starting to build a circuit here in Oregon," Hughes said. "We had a lot of talent come looking for us, which was heartening."Hughes added two more stages to accommodate more acts, which includes acrobatic troupe EM Cirque, a regular on the California Renaissance fair circuit. Additions to the festival include two extra stages to accommodate more acts like California Renaissance fair staple EM Cirque, and acrobatics troupe. A new jousting show is also on tap for the main show ring, courtesy of Washington-based troupe Epona Equestrian Team.With more "Ren fair"-like events popping up in Oregon, Shrewsbury is staying true to its authentic-history roots. Hughes said many such festivals dabble in fantasy with emphasis on fairies and other medieval mythological creatures, but he has tried to keep that to a minimum -- with the exception of the childrens' portion of the faire.With faire time quickly approaching, he said he's looking forward to switching from frenzied organizer to entertainer -- historically accurate, of course."Once it actually gets rolling and started, then I can get into character and go out and play," Hughes said. "Once we open ... it really makes me realize that it is worth every effort." Travel through time What: Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire. When: Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Where: Between Dallas and Philomath near Kings Valley at the intersection of Highway 223 and Grant Road at the Polk-Benton county line. Admission: Adults, $11; seniors and children 6 to 12 years old, $5; children 5 years old and younger, free. A coupon for $1 off admission is available on the Shrewsbury website. Parking: Free. For more information: 541-929-4897; www.shrewfaire.com.