BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. — When one local festival closes, another one opens. People had plenty of activities to choose from over the Labor Day weekend in Kansas and Missouri.
The latest event to start in town, the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, has something for everyone to enjoy — performances, shops and rides for the kids, including one with camels.
While the 15th century party is just getting started in Bonner Springs, over in Independence, the Santacaligon Days Festival was coming to an end. Organizers said it was a successful year.
“It’s been really off the charts in fact, we’ve had vendor after vendor say, ‘It’s been a record year. I set records Friday, I set records Saturday,'” Santacaligon Director Amy Knipp said. “We’re very, very pleased.”
Knipp believes the crowd got close to the expected 300,000 people. Some people took advantage of the unique shopping, others took in the live music.
Organizers implemented new security guidelines this year after four people were hurt in a shooting at Santacaligon in 2021.
Knipp said the new rules made room for more fun and they will carry those same rules into next year’s event, with a few tweaks.
“There’s always a learning curve, but I heard so many people, a lot of them vendors that have been here year after year say, ‘Wow there was a big difference this year.’ They felt a difference, they felt a police presence, they felt safe,” Knipp said. “So that was a positive coming in off the weekend. We’re very, very pleased.”
Logan Gallagher, 10, was part of the entertainment. He dazzled people with his cool card tricks.
“It’s fun. People don’t expect a lot from a 10-year-old, but then I pull out reading their mind with a card that I didn’t see,” Gallagher said. “She was like, ‘What, oh my gosh, what?’ and she was just crazy!”
The magic continues across state lines at the Renaissance Festival, from the balancing acts with sharp knives and fire to the “Jester Rejects” inciting laughs.
It’s a trip back in time, with a little magical fairy or two in the mix.
“I like spending time with my family,” 9-year-old Millie Armstrong said.
The Armstrong family has been dressing up for Ren Fest over the last four years.
“Everyone is so friendly,” mom Amy Armstrong said. “You can just come. be yourself and have fun.”
Ren Fest is going on every Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 16 — rain or shine. Parking is free, but it costs to get inside the festival. You can get tickets here.