Published: Apr 25, 2012 10:34 AM
Modified: Apr 25, 2012 10:36 AM
CHATHAM COUNTY - Call last weekend’s Festival of Legends what you will; just don’t call it a Renaissance fair.
Folks at the fantasy festival held on a rented field off Jones Ferry Road admitted the similarities, but said their first-time event was going not for historical acccuracy – but for “magic.”
“I love history, but I don’t come out to these events for that,” said organizer Jeff Kass of Durham.
“I come out for things like that,” he said and pointed to a man in red leather scales across the field.
Indeed, there were dragons and winged fairies and knights in heavy metal Saturday. The latter, members of the Knightly Order of the Fiat Lux even have their own Facebook page, the better to raise money for children with autism and other causes.
“We’re in it for the entertainment factor,” said “Sir” Thomas Burchhardt, 29, of Raleigh. Sweat beaded his brow after his bout, in which his protective chained armor alone weighed 50 pounds. “If we see there’s an issue with the armor we stop immediately.”
Carl and Diana Daniels of Charlotte roamed the festival grounds as a couple of fire dragons, clad head to toe in skin-tight spiky leather.
You won’t see dragons at most Renaissance festivals.
The “Rennies,” as Carl calls them, “weren’t necessarily fantastical enough for me, he explained. So he created his own costime, complete with red-painted face and lizard-like contact lenses.
“It’s fun for little kids to elderly people,” he said. “Everybody loves dragons.”
Kass, who teaches high school English at Kestrel Heights charter school in Durham, hopes to make the festival an annual event and buy 100 to 150 acres for a permanent home within three years.
“There is a community of people that loves these events and love this lifestyle,” he said. “I want to bring something fun to the world.”