Plans for medieval village moving slowly

Artist renderings provided

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

Plans for creating a German medieval village in the northeast corner of the county are still moving, albeit slowly.

“A lot of people have approached us,” said Catherine LeBlanc, co-organizer of the Rosenvolk German Medieval Festival. “They are excited about what we want to bring into this area. So we have been getting a lot of positive feedback.”

Several businesses and foundations have contacted the organizers wanting to offer support and funding; they are waiting until the organization’s nonprofit and tax-exempt status is complete.

The paperwork for nonprofit and tax-exempt status was completed and submitted in February. The organizers are now waiting to receive the federal government’s approval.

“It’s a little frustrating,” LeBlanc said. “But we are encouraged by the people who are reaching out to us.”

The group still has the option of purchasing 150 acres of farmland at 3301 N. State Road 545 in Dubois. The idea is to make the location into a village with buildings such as a castle, culinary school and banquet hall, medieval dinner tournament location and meadery.

Creating the village, which has an estimated price tag of $5 million, would take several years, LeBlanc has said, with the idea of ultimately moving the Rosenvolk Festival to the location. The festival draws thousands to Ferdinand in October for a weekend of interacting with a host of characters — pirates, maidens, jesters and the sort — who roam the grounds of 18th Street Park among the various sites and activities, like music performances, theatrical acts, jousting competitions, a masquerade ball, and food and craft booths.

Along with some businesses and organizations, the Dubois County Tourism Board is supportive of creating a permanent German medieval village in the county. The Dubois County Commissioners have also given positive feedback, although they decided not to give a letter of endorsement after they heard from some neighbors of the property who don’t support the proposed location for the village. The commissioners wanted organizers to talk to those neighbors.

LeBlanc said that organizers have talked to them and they know of at least one property owner who expressed concerns that deer will be scared away from the land on which they hunt. “But the majority have been very positive about it,” LeBlanc said.

Once the nonprofit and tax-exempt status are complete, more movement on the project will be seen, LeBlanc believes. Once that happens, organizers can start working with a firm to create a more concrete design of the village, grants can be applied for, and donations can be officially accepted.

“I really do think that this is going to happen,” LeBlanc said, “because a lot of people are excited about what we’re doing.”

Anyone interested in becoming a partner or investor, or wanting to learn more about the project can contact LeBlanc at 812-556-0256.




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