LIHUE — This weekend, people will have a chance to step into a time gone, but not forgotten.
“I wanted to do a (William) Shakespeare production, but I wanted to do something different that wasn’t just a play,” said Jason Hoyle of Kauai Unites Theatre. “So we decided to make a day of it. It’s going to be all day entertainment.”
Starting on Saturday and running through Sunday, the theatre is hosting Shakespeare in the Park and Renaissance Faire at Vidinha Stadium, complete with professional sword fighters, fire performers, jugglers, belly dancers and a st0ry-telling mermaid. There will also be harp demonstrations, yarn spinning and soap making.
On Sunday, there will be archery.
“It’s basically hands-on archery,” Hoyle said. “It’s not really a contest. It’s basically you learn how to shoot a bow and arrow.”
Planning the the festival took time, he said.
“It was getting the vendors, partnering with the county to get the staging and the field and talking to the mayor and his team,” he said. “It was a lot bigger than I expected it to be — a lot more work, I should say.”
Both nights will end with a production of “Romeo and Juliet,” which will start at 4 p.m. both nights.
“I’ve always loved the story,” Hoyle said. “It’s something everyone is familiar with.”
There will also be a variety of food, from Filipino and Mexican to burgers and frozen treats.
“I really tried to have someone do turkey legs, but no,” Hoyle said.
While Hoyle, a director with Kauai Unites Theatre, has been to Renaissance festivals, he has never planned one.
“I always loved the time period — knights, maidens, swords and jousting,” he said.
For his wife, Linda Hoyle, the festival is a way to escape from the real world.
“You get to step back in time, and not be yourself for a day,” she said.
While period-style costumes aren’t required at the festival, they’re highly recommended.
“It’s the fun part of it,” said Jason.
If attendees don’t have costumes handy, never fear — the festival will have swords, crowns and costumes for sale.
“Bring anything from the medieval area,” said Jason.
Linda added: “If they can bring an accent, bring it.”
If this one goes well, the Hoyles hope to make it an annual event.
“This is like a trial run. We’re trying to get as many vendors on board. And as it goes each year, hopefully it will grow bigger and bigger,” Linda said.
But until then, Jason wants this weekend’s festival-goers to take a break from reality.
“I want them to experience a different time period. And to have a day to spend with the family and unplug from technology,” he said.
The gates open at 10 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. on both days. Tickets are $10 for a one-day pass and $15 for both days.