Bluffwoods Renaissance Festival (copy)

Organizers Malagar Thorvik, Summer Kenney, Jonathan McClain and Russell Gummelt dressed in Renaissance Festival outfits at the Cedar Bridge Event Center. They will host the Mini Renaissance Festival Fall Fundraiser on Oct. 19.

Before a local Renaissance festival can get off the ground, it will be hosting a special event to raise some money.

Scheduled for fall 2022, organizers of the Bluffwoods Renaissance Festival, the first event of its kind in the area, are hoping to raise money in an entertaining way.

“After actually doing the math and getting quotes for even the basic stuff like port-a-potties and fencing and the security and things like that, we’re looking to raise $40,000 to $50,000,” said Jonathan McClain, a founder of the event.

For its second fundraiser, the festival’s organizers will hold the Mini Renaissance Festival Fall Fundraiser from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19, at Castle Bridge Event Center, 8403 Highway 59.

The event will act as a preview of what people can expect from the future Renaissance festival, with turkey legs from D & G Pub and Grub, festive drinks, live performers and a bonfire to roast hot dogs and marshmallows.

McClain said the live performers, ranging from artists performing sea shanties and a hurdy-gurdy musician, to swashbuckling sword fighters, will help set the tone for what’s coming up.

“Some of our acting crews are going to come and probably try and do a skit. We’re also very excited there’s a stage-combat acting troupe, they’re called Sellsword Arts out of Kansas City. They’re going to come down to do a little presentation for us, which is pretty cool because they do a lot of the combat acting in the Kansas City Renaissance Festival,” he said.

Castle Bridge Event Center also will play host to the Bluffwoods Renaissance Festival next year. McClain said he hopes the mini version will help give people an idea of how the space can be used and show that their money is being put to good use.

“With Trails West! gone, there was a little bit of a vacancy, a void there. I wanted something big for the community, and I wanted to get involved with something bigger, so I started brainstorming and then all these people jumped on it with me,” he said.

As a gesture of support, Castle Bridge Event Center donated the space. But more work needs to be done to make sure it’s as secure and festive as its organizers envision.

“We’re hoping to earn more money so we can hire even more performers and get our local performers paid,” he said. “You know, you always hate saying, ‘Hey, can you come play for tips?’ That’s a terrible feeling.”

The hope with next week’s event, McClain said, is that they can balance having fun with raising money and get people anticipating 2022.

“The fundraisers aren’t just like, ‘Hey, give us money.’ We’re kind of doing something with it, making it enjoyable, too,” he said. “So that in itself is pretty exciting.”

Admission to the event is a suggested $5 donation. It is open to all ages.

Andrew Gaug can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter: @NPNOWGaug

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