Renaissance Fair brings touch of magic to Michiana

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By Amanda Starrantino

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – Music filled the air and Kamm Island was taken over by queens, little princesses, barbarians, pirates, and other mythical creatures.

“I’m a fairy godmother in training,” says Tracy LaForest, a storyteller at the event.

This is the third year for the Renaissance Fair in Mishawaka and the most successful yet. With over 1,600 visitors, they had the option to donate canned foods for a discounted ticket price.

“A lot of people came out that might not have otherwise tried to come out and they got a discount on their ticket price so it was a little extra motivation,” says Amy Zook, Secretary for Entertaining History. “I think it was a good thing and its one non-profit helping another non-profit.”

With seven acres to the island, vendors and visitors say it’s not too big and not too small. This is the perfect spot.

“It is beyond awesome to sit by the river and to have the breeze come across the river with the coolness,” says Teresa Vanderon, a gypsy dancer. “We absolutely love coming out here, this is our highlight.”

Families were in wonderment at the transformation made to the Riverwalk, a whole new world right in Michiana.

“See how they react to what they see, you got adults and children that are just so excited about this,” says Jarl Bruin, a volunteer at the fair.

Even some history of the world was shared.

“There are pirates, there are Vikings that are right down the road here. Each one of them gives little snippits of what happened in the past,” explains Tracy LaForest. “They are sharing knowledge that without it could go away and disappear, so that is beautiful.”

And as the sun started to set along the St. Joe River, it began time to tear down the fairytale land. With tired workers, visitors left pleased.

“Everyone has been leaving happy, the acts the vendors, everyone has been happy,” says Amy Zook.

And the gates closed to end the weekend.

Officials of the event said they were able to have over 700 canned foods donated over the weekend to give to the Mishawaka Food Bank.

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