14th Annual Indiana Renaissance Faire Returns Oct. 6-7
Photography Provided By Jason Fivush, Stan Seigla
Fourteen years ago, Adam and Andrea Fivush made a U-turn. The Fishers couple spontaneously turned their car around and – Huzzah! Ever since, they’ve served as leaders at one of our community’s largest and beloved events – the Indiana Renaissance Faire.
The couple had moved to Fishers from North Carolina, where Adam had been involved with a renaissance faire event.
“One day, in 2004, Andrea and I were driving near the Fishers library and we saw a sign for auditions to participate in the first Fishers Renaissance Faire,” Adam says. “We immediately turned the car around, walked into the audition and volunteered to help with the planning of the event. We’ve been a part of our community’s annual renaissance faire ever since.”
As the event has grown over the years, so has the role that Adam and Andrea have played in its production and planning. The Fishers residents are the volunteer directors of the country’s largest one-weekend renaissance faire, now called the Indiana Renaissance Faire.
The 14th annual Indiana Renaissance Faire will be held on Saturday-Sunday, October 6-7 at Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center in Noblesville. The event is held rain or shine and has grown to an annual attendance of more than 15,000 visitors.
“About half of the attendees arrive in Elizabethan era costumes,” Andrea says. “About 40 percent of attendees travel from outside Indiana to attend the event.”
The first Fishers Renaissance Faire was held at Heritage Park in Fishers. The faire was an idea of Diane Eaton and Walt Bagot, who were participants of Sister Cities Association of Fishers Indiana. This local non-profit organization cultivated a relationship between the City of Fishers and its international sister city, Billericay, England.
Billericay (pronounced Bill-er-ICK-ee) is a northeast suburb of London, just like Fishers is a northeast suburb of Indianapolis. Billericay Park at 126th Street and Promise Road is named for Fishers’ sister city in Essex, UK.
Eaton and Bagot’s idea was to create a signature event to connect Fishers residents to the culture of Billericay, an English community that has proudly preserved their centuries of history. The Indiana Renaissance Faire transports visitors to Billericay in the year 1579, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. In fact, actual names of establishments and people who lived in Billericay in the 1500s are featured at the faire.
Billericay is believed to be the site of the first open-air market which was held during the fall harvest centuries ago. The Indiana Renaissance Faire replicates Billericay’s market by presenting more than 70 artisans and merchants and plentiful food vendors in a vibrant, open-air environment.
“There will also be an over-21 beer garden, roving entertainers and activities just for kids,” says Adam, who serves as the event’s overall director.
Every renaissance faire is known for costumed performers and the Indiana Renaissance Faire is no exception.
“There will be 150 cast members at this year’s faire,” says Andrea, who serves as the event’s cast director.
These volunteer performers are trained in street theater and create their own historically-inspired costumes. Like Conner Prairie interpreters, the cast members stay in character as they interact with visitors to entertain and bring the historical era to life.
“Visitors will encounter Queen Elizabeth I and her court, Billericay villagers and English-folklore fairies,” Andrea says.
Jousting competitions are a favorite part of the event, too. Knights of Valor is a professional jousting troupe who rides large war horses while wearing authentic armor and wielding real lances. These are true, full-contact jousts that take place in the arena twice each day during the Indiana Renaissance Faire. Other performers are a fire-breather, The Rogue Blades sword-fighting comedy, Punch & Judy puppet show and Chaste Treasure, a trio of upper class ladies who sing and sass.
Adam and Andrea are not just the leaders of the renaissance faire, they are performers too. They take the stage as musicians in Fishers’ only pirate band. The Fivushes teamed up with an accomplished musician, Tim Hoke, to form the ensemble years ago. Together, the trio is Red Rum, a costumed pirate folk band that entertains audiences with sea shanties, pub classics and nautical tunes. Red Rum just released their second album, “Save the Ales,” and was a featured performer at GenCon Indy recently.
At the 2018 Indiana Renaissance Faire, a new front gate will be unveiled. The gate was designed, constructed and installed just for the Indiana Renaissance Faire and will transport visitors from 2018 Fishers to 1579 England as they enter. A new partnership debuts this year with the Indiana Blood Center, who will be on-site accepting blood donations.
Legions of volunteers have joined the Fivush family to create the Indiana Renaissance Faire for each of the past 14 years. Adam and Andrea’s son, Jason, attended his first faire when he was five years old. He is now a student at HSE High School and contributes to many facets of the event, including set-up and photography.
It is a family affair and a labor of love.
“Andrea and I have been married for many years and we are best friends,” Adam says. “We are good partners in the things we enjoy together, like the Indiana Renaissance Faire and the Red Rum band. We have fun together and that’s more important than anything else.”
Get Your Tickets
14th Annual Indiana Renaissance Faire
Saturday-Sunday, October 6-7, 2018. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., rain or shine.
Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center, 12880 E 146th St, Noblesville
One-day tickets: Adults (12+) $14. Youth (5-11) $5. Kids under 5 are free. Family day pack of two adults and up to five youths – $35. Free parking. Visit indianarenfaire.com.