By Marlena Solomon, TRF Marketing Communications Manager
Before the last Royal firework burst over the festival grounds signifying the end of festival, plans were underway for expansion and improvements to the Texas Renaissance Festival grounds for the 2020 season. The next Monday shoppes were being moved and ground cleared for the new area across from the Magic Garden, while shoppe owners packed up the remainder of their inventory and boarded up their shoppes for the winter / off-season months. After returning from a much needed winter break, the TRF Site Crew was busy preparing for the upcoming festival season.
Dennis McCorvy joined the Texas Renaissance Festival staff in February as Site Manager, bringing with him over 17 years of experience in facility maintenance. As Site Manager, Dennis is responsible for a crew of ten who oversee maintaining the grounds, buildings, and restrooms throughout the festival and campgrounds. He also manages participant camping. Upon his arrival, Dennis quickly took inventory and he and his crew are working through a long list of needs throughout the festival grounds. While some projects on that list have been completed, others have been moved to 2021 due to the recent COVID-19 situation.
Here's a peak of what's been happening at the festival in preparation for the upcoming season.
Odeon Stage - The stage nestled at the end of Industrial Row is home to acts such as Arsene and Sound and Fury. The TRF crew is currently working on a complete face lift including painting the statues and redoing the stucco.
Drainage - Ongoing drainage issues at key trouble spots are being addressed and are part of a multi-year improvement project.
Joust Arena - Also receiving a much needed refresh, the Joust Arena stucco was redone and the statues received a new coat of paint. Can't wait to see The Hanlon-Lees Action Theater performing there this fall!
Wedding Venues - All five of the wedding venues have been prepped for the season as the vines continue to grow and each venue becomes more lush and green. Bolts were replaced, crosses were cleaned, venues were pressure washed, and a fresh coat of paint applied. In the Water Garden (not pictured) all of the fountains have been fixed will be running this season to create a beautiful ambiance for any special occasion, or just to sit and enjoy the sounds of the fountains.
New Expansion Area - The new area located across from the Magic Garden will be home to The Broom Closet, Enchanted Realm Readers, the Dragon's Tower Slide, a Pirate Museum, a "Tastings" (Liquors, Wine, etc.) area, new stage, and new vendors.
Filtration System - Not a whole lot to say about the new filtration system except that it's important when you have over 450,000 guests a season! Additionally the electrical and guide wires were re-wired at the sanitation plant.
All the way out to row 38 - If you don't splurge and take advantage of valet or preferred parking, you know what it's like to do the long hike from row 21 and beyond to the festival gates. While the poles are getting some new paint, you'll find benches have been placed along the path for you to take a breather on your way to the festival or back to your vehicle. Now if they would only add a mead or kettle corn cart on the path!