Students Seek New Experiences at Renaissance Fair


Zane Mrozla-Mindrup

Having Fun-nel: After tearing into his funnel cake Philip Matya (22) takes a pause. Though a lunch option was provided students were allowed to purchase their own meals. Matya paid six dollars for the cake.

On the drizzly morning of Oct. 11, seniors from the French IV and German IV classes went on the field trip of a lifetime to the Kansas City Renaissance Fair in Bonner Springs, Kansas.
“It was the first time doing this type of field trip,” French instructor Mrs. Melinda Randall said. “It ties into our curriculum because we study the ‘Three Musketeers’ and the ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’ and the time period they’re set in. That kind of gives you a chance to step back in time.”
Dotted throughout the fair were interactive exhibitions performed by amateur actors. They sought to engage attendees with different aspects of medieval history and were mandatory viewing for the students who participated in the trip.
“I thought the activities at the Renaissance fair were interesting and educational,” senior Grace Russell said. “Occasionally, the activity was odd and I just sat in the rain confused as to what I was witnessing”
Hundreds of vendors, set up in shops resembling medieval huts and laid out like a village, sold everything from honeycomb to kilts. They presented attendees with many opportunities to buy.
“I spent way too much money on a giant, foam sword to whack people with,” senior Ethan Lentsch said. “It brings me joy.”
Aside from the shopping, one of the key draws for the students was the opportunity to purchase their own lunch from one of the dozens of food vendors at the fair. Though the greatly anticipated roasted turkey legs were unavailable students found other new foods to try.
“I ate Scotch Eggs at the Renaissance Fair,” senior Walker Lee said. “I enjoyed it in part because it was pretty cold and the eggs were nice and warm, and in part, because eggs wrapped in a sausage breading mix taste really good.”
Though the German students who participated in the trip did complete a scavenger hunt that led them around the fair, completing specific tasks was not necessarily the main goal of the field trip.
“Because it was the first time we had done it was a chance for us to get a feel for what the fair is like,” Mrs. Randall said. “In the future, we’ll probably involve more language and more specific activities. This time it was just kind of an investigative-type field trip.”
Leaving the event just after lunchtime in order to make the two-hour drive back to Gretna in time, the field trip lasted just over three hours, involved more than a dozen activities, shows, and historical demonstrations for students to see. It brought history to life and added a new dimension to the foreign language curriculum.