Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Renaissance Festival
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Renaissance Festival

Rick Coates - June 2nd, 2008
Ever wanted to travel in time? Maybe escape the $4-plus per gallon gas or the overanalysis of the presidential election? How about just breaking away from the everyday stresses of life? Then Castle Farms has just that opportunity for you this weekend with its first Charlevoix Renaissance Festival.
“That is exactly what we are trying to accomplish by mixing a little bit of fantasy, magic and entertainment to create an environment that allows a person to escape the stresses of everyday life,” said Betsy Deneau of SLRS Productions Inc., who is producing the weekend event. “Regardless of your age, we will have something for you. This is a very family friendly event that will be filled with fun and frolic.”
Renaissance festivals, or faires, have been growing rapidly in recent years in North America. While reenactments have been a part of culture since the inception of mankind, the popularity of the renaissance festival has been primarily an American thing born out of the ’60s.

BIG DRAW
The Charlevoix Renaissance Festival will be modeled after Silver Leaf Renaissance Faire in Battle Creek that attracts more than 40,000 visitors every July. The weekend will be filled with dancers, magicians, jugglers and performers ala Shakespearean that draw attendees into audience participation roles.
Another exciting part of the weekend is the falconry and jousting demonstrations.
The falconry show consists of three distinct activities: patron interaction, where birds and handlers are intermingled with patrons and participants; displaying of the birds in a designated area or mews; and a stage presentation demonstrating “free flight” and a simulated “hunt” with a lure. There are ample opportunities for patrons to ask questions and take photographs with the birds.
If you think the concept of “extreme sports” was invented by ESPN, guess again. Jousting is one of the original extreme sports (along with gladiator matches). Knights in full armor on horses will give patrons an up-close and personal look at the art of this sport from days gone by.
The popularity of renaissance festivals has led to them popping up all over the country. Michigan now boasts 11 of them. For several years the Northwood’s Renaissance Festival took place near Interlochen, but show organizers stopped a couple years ago, opening the door for Castle Farms.
“Every state has at least one of these festivals. It was a shame that the one in Interlochen didn’t continue,” said Deneau. “Northern Michigan is perfect for this. We are excited about Castle Farms serving as a backdrop for this. To have a real castle a part of this is only going to add to the weekend.”

FANTASY PAST
There are critics of renaissance festivals who point to the fact that these events are not authentic and that they don’t give an authentic portrayal of the Renaissance days. Deneau scoffs at the critics.
“This is not a history class. This is about entertainment and having fun,” said Deneau. “There are parts of what happen that are authentic. It is a blend of reality and fantasy. We are not trying to recreate some exact historical moment in time or some specific place–we are trying to create a place that doesn’t really exist but for this moment it does, and we are able to escape our troubles or the ills of the world. That is what this is about.”
For Deneau, who serves as the marketing director of the Silver Leaf Renaissance Faire and its production company, that is exactly what attracted her.
“I went to Silver Leaf for the first time 17 years ago and as I was drawn in to everything going on, I said to myself, ‘I belong here.’ So I ended up volunteering the next year,” said Deneau. “Before I knew it I was the marketing director. Organizing these festivals is a real labor of love. We all have day jobs and this is our hobby.”
Richard and Linda Mueller bought Castle Farms in 2001 and started the multi-million dollar restoration of the former dairy farm and onetime rock concert venue. They opened the facility in 2004, hosting over 40 events. In 2005 the Muellers created an advisory board of community leaders and event experts, and it was in those meetings that the idea of hosting a renaissance festival at the Castle was born.
“Richard and Linda Mueller are meticulous in everything they do,” said Deneau. “They attended several renaissance festivals to get ideas as to what they wanted. We are pleased that they selected us to produce this for them.”

ECONOMIC ENGINE
Another part of the Muellers’ mission is to involve Castle Farms in the community so that its events serve as an economic driver for Charlevoix and the surrounding region.
“This event, as many of our events, spills into the community. The DDA is hosting concerts in downtown,” said Stephanie Sayre, Castle Farms spokesperson. “The businesses are getting into this event by decorating their windows, and hotel rooms are filling up in the region as these festivals attract visitors who like to travel to several renaissance festivals.”
Another popular part of every festival is the food and the vendor’s area.
“Yes, we will have turkey legs, bread bowl fare and other goodies from the land beyond,” said Deneau. “We do have vendors coming in from all over the country who will have many crafty items for sale.”
This weekend will have a Celtic theme with a nautical theme on the final weekend. Organizers hope to be able to expand the festival next year.
Action, adventure, and romance all await you at Castle Farms during the Charlevoix Renaissance Festival, June 7-8 and June 14-15. The festival gate is open from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., both days with an admission fee of $13.95 for adults, $7.95 for children ages 5-12, and children under 4 are free.

For additional details visit castlefarms.com or call them at
231-237-0884. Castle Farms is located on M-66 just outside of Char


 
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