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Successful return of the two-weekend event leaves logistics questions to be answered for the future

Coming off its most successful run in history, and despite battling repeated wet conditions, the Oregon Renaissance Faire hit a home run the first two weekends of June.

In the immediate aftermath of the event, organizers are looking at a bright future — and answers to some key questions.

Organizers were expecting a bump in attendance after the past two iterations were canceled during the pandemic, but that "bump" turned into a mountain as attendance soared. Included in that was a final Sunday outing on June 12 that was sold out, forcing the faire to turn away potential patrons, an unprecedented event.

PMG PHOTO: JOHN BAKER - The Oregon Renaissance Faire in Canby saw a very large bump in attendance despite rain during the two-weekend event that concluded June 12.

The successful run was a bit of a double-edged sword in the end.

"Of course, we were successful, but we had to turn people away and that's never happened before," marketing director Shana Casey noted days after the faire concluded. "There were complaints and grievances, which were heartbreaking. We couldn't have imagined the (bad) weather and the very large crowds."

The last time the event was held, the attendance was about 17,000 over the two weekends. This year, Casey said the attendance could be anywhere from 22,000 to 24,000 when the final numbers are calculated.

The faire, despite the wet and muddy conditions, proved incredibly popular in its return. And with that, there were some logistical issues that presented themselves. That has prompted questions the faire will need to answer moving forward.

PMG PHOTO: JOHN BAKER - Knights battled during the Oregon Renaissance Faire in Canby.

Casey said that organizers will be looking at possibly adding a third weekend and/or metering ticket sales to keep the crowding under a bit more control.

They are also going to discuss the possibility of finding more room for the faire. The rub may be that that could require looking for another venue, something Casey said the Oregon Renaissance Faire would prefer not to do.

"Clackamas County and Canby have been really gracious to us," said Casey. "It's a great site. We grew tremendously since 2019, so our initial plans are to add another weekend to make it longer, or perhaps a new site. These are things we will need to consider for the first time. It's a brand-new problem, but not a bad problem, but it was hard to look at people and tell them they couldn't come in."

Casey noted that the attendance was impressive precisely because the weather proved to be a challenge. Despite the rains, people kept coming.

"One thing is for sure, Oregonians are definitely impressive people," Casey said. "They are not afraid of the rain. Post-covid, I think people saw this as something fun to do outside. People came from all over. We had people travel from California to be at this festival.

"We are going to use all the information we gathered from this and improve for the future," she added. "We are definitely going to work to accommodate the crowds for next year. We don't want to move out of Canby, that's the thing. We will work with the county and the fairgrounds to find a way to add a third weekend and use ticket metering to keep the crowds reasonable. We were very happy to be back in Canby putting on the Oregon Renaissance Faire. We are so grateful to everyone that came out to support us. We had a great two weekends back."


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