Renaissance Fairs could be adversely affected by COVID-19

Renaissance Fairs could be adversely affected by COVID-19

KILGORE, Texas (KLTV) - The COVID-19 era has had a huge effect on closing or limiting East Texas sporting events, concerts and festivals.

And one type of festival, Avalon Faire in Kilgore, is on the edge of finding out whether they will be allowed to open, and more important, whether they will have the opportunity for paying customers.

As groundskeepers work to expand new areas for vendors and attractions at Avalon, they wait to find out from the county whether they’ll be allowed to open for their upcoming Oktoberfest.

“We have plenty of space so you can social distance between each group. During our activities we’ll have masks,” says Faire worker Nikki young.

“We’re looking to expand vendor wise and entertainment wise to accommodate the space that we have succeeded. With this Covid episode we’ve had, it’s kind of put a hold on future expansion,” said grounds-keeper Steve Granlund.

Performers and entertainers travel the country to work at numerous renaissance festivals, and for many it’s their sole source of income.

“If they’re not performing, they’re not making any money. And they do go around the country and every place that’s closed, that’s more money they are losing,” says Faire organizer Lisa Granlund.

But their travel may be one of the county’s concerns. That they have been around big crowds already.

“They’re going to be in the joust fields or entertaining and you’re going to be in the audience. Definitely more than 6 feet away,” Young says.

They bill the Faire as a vacation in time, but it’s more than the performers, it’s the vendors that lose out if it’s not held.

“They basically have a circuit they go on. A lot of our vendors have a circuit and go from fair to fair to fair and that’s how they make their living. And with so many things closed down, it’s been very difficult on people,” says Young.

If the county gives the ‘go-ahead’ for opening, Avalon Faire will host it’s ‘Oktoberfest’ on Saturday September 26th.

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