The city will once again help support a local fantasy event, planned for June 11 and 12.
The majority of the Great Bend City Council voted Monday night to once again provide $1,000 to help bring the Great Bend Renaissance Faire back again this summer. That event was off to a running start in its first year last summer when a powerful thunderstorm and tornado struck, causing damage and cutting the event short.
However, Great Bend Renaissance Faire organizer David LeRoy said that even a disaster can turn out for the good.
There is hardly a Renaissance event in this part of the country that hasn’t heard about the fair that got hit by a tornado, and this year’s event promises to be even bigger and better than in the past.
Park Director Terry Hoff told the council that there are plans for the department to provide help with getting the event set up. “We are very supportive of this event and want it to be successful,” Hoff commented.
He added, however, that there are some concerns about the electrical use for the food vendors.
LeRoy said changes have already been made and the electrical use will be augmented with generators for this year’s event.
This year’s faire has been scheduled for June 11 and 12, running from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on that Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday at the Expo Area, west of Great Bend.
“Many vendors and performers are returning and we are very excited to have this event again,” LeRoy said earlier.
In the midst of last year’s event, a storm that hit Great Bend and other parts of the county on a Saturday afternoon, cut the event short, but not before the majority of those who were participating had a chance to get a favorable impression, LeRoy said at the time. It was estimated there had been about 400 people out before the weather turned bad. If that flow had been able to continue and if Sunday had stayed as busy, the faire was on its way to making 1,000 visitors. For a first-year event, that would have been a great showing.
Getting things moving for this year’s event means starting over, in some ways. “We are looking for folks who are interested in being involved with set up and helping work the faire. If you volunteered last year and want to help again please contact me. With the storm, some contact information was lost. My cell in 620-617-1357 and my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org,” LeRoy explained, adding that he is interested in first-time volunteers, too.
There are a couple of areas that LeRoy is especially interested in getting volunteers, he explained. “If you play and instrument and would like to be involved, contact me. We need folks who play, to walk around and entertain.”
The city’s support of the event was approved with Councilman Dana Dawson opposed. Dawson suggested that he did not have a problem with the Great Bend Renaissance Faire, but was concerned with other events getting support when there is not money to pay to the drag strip.