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Plans underway for first Renaissance festival in Roane Co. | News

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Plans underway for first Renaissance festival in Roane Co.

(WBIR) After years of work and research, there will soon be a blast from the past in Harriman, stressing the word "past."

"We worked to shop the idea in Knoxville and Roane County and we found some land that was identified in Harriman," said Barrie Paulson, the organizer of the East Tennessee Renaissance Festival, scheduled to open for a multi-week performance in Spring 2015.

On Saturday, Paulson and her husband welcomed performers to test how medieval they can be on a stage.

"Who's going to be playing what part -- do we need to hire from the outside? So if we can find people here," Paulson added.

One of those performers was Richard Medicus, or his alias, Scotsman "Ruairidh McLaughlin."

"I really like 'Rein Fairs' to begin with and now that I have an outfit and a persona with it, I figure why not?" he said.

More than 30 performers, young and old, played music, sang, jousted and acted in front of an audience. Paulson said the performance was also designed to teach acting skills to these future festival sirs and lassies.

"Always wanted to build one from the ground up -- so we're enlisting everyone's help," she said. "How do we build this right? How do we do this right? How does it grow so we can skip the 10 to 20 years it takes to catch on and in 1 to 2 years, this would really blossom."

An early performance for the East Tennessee Renaissance Festival is scheduled for late October.


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