Ren Fest slams school days


photo or infographic by Cenia Moreira

TEXAS RENFEST. School Days a RenFest tradition, is cancelled for this season.

by Heather Jackson, VOW photography manager

Students from various groups and organizations across the board get ready for an anything-but-normal school day. While school is where they are headed, they will end up in a world long forgotten before returning home. 

A world of wonder. 

A world of magic. 

A world of imagination. 

This is the Renaissance Festival, and once a year schools would visit and participate in this immersion of the renaissance, but no more. 

After 15 years of clubs and organizations attending School Days at The Renaissance Festival, the program has been suspended until further notice. In addition to this change, for the 2021 festival, they will no longer be open on the weekdays like in years past. 

The organization should reinstate School Days for the education and experiences it has the ability to provide for high school students.

The Renaissance Festival used to give students the opportunity to step back in time and experience things they can’t see anywhere else. People decked out in costumes, jousting in a ring and even the occasional fire whip show are just a few of the events witnessed by a Ren Fest attendee. This does not even begin to explain the vast gardens, small shops, elephant rides or the intricate knickknacks around each and every corner resembling the era. With School Days, students are exposed to interests and passions they may never have discovered in themselves otherwise from stained glass to work in steel. It allows them to see, experience and learn in a way that simply can’t be matched by a traditional high school setting. 

Aside from all of the magic that is the festival, there are also more academic-based learning experiences to be had. Choir and other fine art organizations perform musical pieces for their audiences, theatre immerses themselves in the culture and attempt to resemble those of the renaissance and journalism students stick out like a sore thumb with their cameras and notepads.  Every year, School Days has put on competitions, some of the most popular being the photo and media competitions. As students stroll through shops, shows and view people of all sorts at the festival, there are a few who can be identified as the journalism kids with their camera bags, DSLRs, voice recorders and notepads. While attending, they are able to participate in photo and story competitions they can obtain medals for and even gain points towards their All-State Journalism Staff goals. Ren Fest is more than a day of fun for these students, it is an opportunity to improve their skills and gain recognition.  

The Texas Renaissance Festival put out an announcement suspending school days and stating the situation would be reevaluated every year. They also said that there were several reasons as to why they decided to suspend it but did not disclose what the reasons were. It was originally thought that it was due to COVID-19, but the festival is not forceful in precautionary measures, so it does not make sense that would be the reasoning behind this suspension. Unless the festival releases a valid explanation as to why it has been suspended, school days must live on for the education, experience and competition it provides students.