BILLINGS – Parking was scarce and the lines were long at ZooMontana for a chance to go back to old England.
The 7th Annual Montana Renaissance Festival draws Ren Fest fans from all over the country.
It’s a chance to go back to the 16th century.
Many, including Haak, come to the fair dressed up in character.
“Kenneth the Humble,” Haak said about his Ren Fest name. “Lowly sheep herder. I clean the Queen’s pastures. That’s my job here.”
Haak and his wife Margo renewed their vows in 2016 in ZooMontana’s Sensory Garden. More weddings are planned for this year.
“We have six weddings this year,” Haak said. “These are real weddings. The king and queen are at your wedding. The royal entourage is at your wedding.”
Haak said many Renaissance Festivals build permanent structures for events that last eight weeks.
The Montana Renaissance Festival puts up tents and temporary structures, but it still brings in both vendors and visitors.
“The whole idea of when you come to the Ren Fair is no matter which way you turn, there are things to see,” Haak said as he turned in a circle. “There’s always something to entertain you and that is one of the reasons we are so successful. There’s much to see.”
The two-day festival drew 7,000 last year and it’s expected 8,000 will visit the fair this year, according to Haak.
“There’s much rejoicing,” Haak said. “It’s been a truly wondrous day. We’ve been blessed with many, many patrons today.”
Reporting by David Jay for MTN News