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Eastern Wake News - Dec 21, 2011

Started by Docamor, December 21, 2011, 12:17:27 PM

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Here is an article about the future of the Faire in Knightsdale.

The article text is here:

Knightdale won't host embattled Faire


Any hopes for the NC Renaissance Faire's return to Knightdale were quashed last week.
Earlier this year, the Faire – with its jousting, actors sword fighting, magicians, jugglers and food assortment – brought thousands of residents from across the east coast to a field in Poplar Creek Village off Poole Road.

But, should the knights in nylons wish return to the appropriately named location, its town government will have no part.

"It will not be in Knightdale," Town Manager Seth Lawless said last week. "It was tried for a year and was just not a good fit."

Knightdale earlier this year provided about $2,000 in services for the event such as traffic police, trash receptacles and garbage pickup.

But the town was wary of the organization known for its recent financial instability.

Lingering over the medieval carnival even prior to its Knightdale stint was a past that included a questionable success rate and late payments for rent and labor.

In June 2010, the Faire's treasurer and three board members resigned citing the organization's financial woes.

In November 2010, several Faire actors filed complaints in small claims court against the Faire's president. The actors said they were owed upwards of $1,000 by then-president Donna Varner-Sheaves.

In December 2010, the organization said it was still working out a $20,000 debt to N.C. State Fairgrounds after holding its event there in 2008.

And in March, a month before the event in Knightdale, the Faire auctioned off many of the contents from its Raleigh office to pay back $22,100 in outstanding rent payments.

So Town Council, even in extending its support for the medieval carnival last December, chose not to sign a 10-year commitment sought by Faire organizers.

The decision would prove wise.

Not only was the faire not profitable, actors again complained that they were not paid, Knightdale mayor Russell Killen said.

"It's not that the fair was not profitable. Because the event was fun and it brought people to Knightdale. It's that the financial issue persisted and we heard again that actors were not being paid," Killen said.

And, like their medieval wares, the organization seems to be all but history.

Shortly after the Faire, Varner-Sheaves resigned from her position as president. Contacted by phone last week, she cited "health reasons" as cause for her departure.

Board members, too, seemed to have distanced themselves from the Faire.

"I'm not really sure what's going on with it," said Shelley Todd Strickland. "We haven't spoken in months."

It remains unclear whether the organization aims to produce an event in 2012.

Attempts to contact the current president of the NC Renaissance Faire were not successful.

Specht: 919-829-4826
Modo liceat vivere, est spes.

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