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Southern Indiana Renaissance Faire to draw fairies, pirates and more to Charlestown

Southern Indiana Renaissance Faire logo.
Southern Indiana Renaissance Faire
The Southern Indiana Renaissance Faire is this weekend and next weekend in Charlestown.

The Southern Indiana Renaissance Faire is in full swing at Birdsell Castle for the next two weekends, bringing with it over 100 vendors and full-contact jousting.

Thousands of people are expected to head to Charlestown over the four days of the Southern Indiana Renaissance Faire. The fair is fantasy-themed this weekend, and next weekend will revolve around pirates.

Nancy Stewart, SIRF’s board secretary and entertainment and vendor coordinator, said she thinks the fair will double in size compared to last year. This year, Stewart said 105 vendors will be in attendance at Birdsell Castle.

“We have a mermaid this year. We have full contact jousting. We have a falconer with his birds of prey,” Stewart said. “Pretty much anything you could imagine is probably going to be here.”

Stewart said she first became interested in renaissance fairs when she attended one with her brother, then they got her husband involved. All three of them have been on SIRF’s board of directors since it started in 2014.

The fair is also a nonprofit organization. Proceeds from their biannual fairs go towards scholarships for local high schoolers who want to pursue a degree in arts or entertainment.

According to Stewart, about half of the attendees come as themselves, but many choose to dress up as their favorite magical character or in historical clothing.

“Once you go, you’re hooked,” Stewart said. “They'll come the first day and go, ‘Oh, wow, that looks like fun.’ And then they'll hit the shops and start buying garb and then they'll come back the second day or the second weekend. And then they'll be all dressed up also.”

The fair draws people of all sorts of interests and backgrounds, Stewart said, and is an inclusive environment. Stewart said she’s particularly excited to wear her pirate costume.

“I’m a pirate at heart,” she said.

Coverage of Southern Indiana is funded, in part, by Samtec, Inc. and the Hazel & Walter T. Bales Foundation.

Sylvia is the Capitol reporter for Kentucky Public Radio, a collaboration including Louisville Public Media, WEKU-Richmond, WKU Public Radio and WKMS-Murray. Email her at sgoodman@lpm.org.

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