LEHI — Richard Thurman is out to create a new tradition in Utah County.
He wants Utah Valley to have its own Renaissance Faire like those he's seen in other cities and counties, an event that celebrates the medieval times, the classic sports, the unique foods and beautiful music.
So last year, he introduced the first-ever Renaissance Faire to the area at Mount Timpangos Park in Provo Canyon.
This year, he's back with an expanded venue that includes jousting and equestrian vaulters.
"We couldn't have horses last year. There were no horses allowed, and what's a Renaissance Faire without horses?" Thurman asked.
"This year we have world-champion jouster Charlie Andrews and the Knights of Mayhem from our own backyard in Eagle Mountain.
"We have Apollo the Friesian Stallion from Pleasant Grove who will be performing," he said.
In addition, the fair will feature musicians who excel in Celtic music such as Alex Bigney of Kirkmount and the Glastonbury Duo.
There will be a royal feast offered along with storytelling, puppet shows, sword dueling and festival dancing.
"The fair will have a number of villages with artisans and people from the areas that influenced the Renaissance, including a Viking village and a Turkish bazaar," Thurman said.
Local actor Marvin Payne will appear as William Shakespeare. Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Kublai Khan and Johannes Gutenberg will stroll the villages.
Ben Woodruff from the Hutchings Museum will bring along his falcons for a birds of prey exhibit.
Thurman, who is an emergency room physician when he's not organizing a Renaissance Faire, said he's excited to stage the fair at Thanksgiving Point.
"It's the first step toward getting it to where we can have it on multiple weekends and bring in many more people," he said.
He became interested in creating a Renaissance Faire in Utah after visiting a couple of such events in Kansas City and in other states. He believes such a fair can become a staple and a tourist attraction for Utah.
"Our aim is to provide a family friendly event that will reflect the values of our Utah communities and avoid the bawdy flavor of some of the Renaissance Faires in the country," Thurman said. "Our fair is unique in that we have a special interest in education as well as entertainment."
Last year, the fair drew 3,000 visitors. He's hoping the number doubles this year.
Thurman has a couple hundred people involved in volunteering, entertaining and vending.
The Utah Valley Fine Arts Council is sponsoring the fair.Comment on this story
A detailed schedule is available at: www.utahvalleyrenaissancefaire.com
If you go:
What: Utah Valley Renaissance Faire
Where: Thanksgiving Point Electric Park, Lehi
When: 10 a.m to 9 p.m., Sept. 27-28
Tickets: $10 adults, $8 seniors, $6 children ($30 for the feast for a family) Schoolchildren are invited Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $4 a ticket.
Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with more than 35 years experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.