Rosenvolk to bring ‘a little more magic in our lives’October 17, 2018
By ALLEN LAMAN
FERDINAND — As the Rosenvolk German Medieval Festival continues to grow and extend its reach, festival organizers are anxiously awaiting news that could forever change the scope of their work.
Rosenvolk organizers are working with an investor group with the ultimate goal of constructing a permanent village that would be open year-round in Dubois County. That village would have buildings, such as a 50-suite castle hotel, culinary school, learning center, 1,000-seat banquet hall and much more.
Organizers are currently waiting to hear if the investors will move forward with them.
“We do have big investors looking at us right now, and we should know by the end of the year,” said Catherine LeBlanc, a co-founder of the festival. Should they reach an agreement, LeBlanc said, “we’re looking at millions of dollars of investment coming into the area.”
Organizers have told The Herald in the past that the permanent village would cost at least $5 million.
LeBlanc said the prospect of working with investors on the permanent village seems promising, but she also said waiting to hear back is a nail-biting experience.
In the meantime, the fantasy-filled Village of Grunwald will return to 18th Street Park in Ferdinand this weekend when the fourth annual festival transforms the park into a Renaissance faire. LeBlanc hopes it will draw about 7,500 guests.
Last year’s event drew about 6,000 people to Ferdinand during the three-day spectacle.
According to the event website, the festival is dedicated to education and fun, and is focused on German medieval culture.
Rosenvolk’s 2018 theme is “Making history come alive.”
The fest will operate from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Single-day entry prices vary by day and age, and weekend passes are also available for purchase. A full schedule and more information can be found online at rosenvolk.com.
New attractions this year include the fighting ironclad knights of the Armored Combat League, a royal falconer who dazzles onlookers with birds of prey, and a troll hunt activity that will allow kids between the ages of 5 and 13 to scour the grounds in search of handmade trolls. Many more performers are slated throughout the weekend, and about 50 vendors will operate shops. Food will also be sold.
A permanent village would allow even more attractions in the Village of Grunwald.
The Rosenvolk Education Initiative, a school that would operate in the permanent village and offer classes on things like glass blowing and candlemaking, has received 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. The grounds would host festivals a few weekends each year, and the village would operate as a medieval learning center throughout the year.
Festival organizers plan on fundraising throughout the country in 2019 with a mobile axe-throwing wagon, and LeBlanc said Rosenvolk representatives are also in talks with other investors across the world.
“I think things are starting to catch on,” she said. “We’re getting calls from [TV and movie] studios in [Los Angeles] and Georgia that are very interested in what we’re doing. We’ve got a lot of aces in the hole, but I think once we know about our investors, I think things will move. If they — knock on wood — if they go with us, I think things are going to move very quickly at that point.”
In May, neighbors of the proposed site of the village — 50 acres of farmland at 3301 N. State Road 545 in Dubois — expressed concerns that it would disrupt the rural setting, and that the village would not pay taxes due to its perceived nonprofit status.
LeBlanc said Tuesday that permanent Renaissance faires are usually located near small towns and provide a big boost to local economies after they’ve been established for awhile. She said taxes would be paid and that the nonprofit effort aims to help fund the education initiative.
LeBlanc encouraged readers to attend this weekend’s festival because it empowers attendees to engage in a magical experience. She also said dressing up in medieval garb is a lot of fun.
“I think we need a little more magic in our lives,” she said.
Knights of Valour Jousting Arena
11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Friday
11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday
1:30 p.m. Sunday
10 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. Friday
2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Saturday
11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Sunday
Turner Circus Aerial Show
10:45 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday
Woodland Masquerade Ball
6 p.m. to 9:35 p.m. Saturday
Unicorn Pony Photos
Sunday only at the Half Pint Hooves Vendor Tent
The Great Troll Hunt
Pre-register before 1 p.m. Sunday at the Info Tent
There will be events all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the festival’s Masquerade, Market and Pirate areas. For a complete schedule, visit www.rosenvolk.com.
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