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'Be my weird self'| Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow attendees, artisans delighted to keep the tradition going during pandemic

Social distancing and faces masks might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to renaissance fairs, but this one made it a point to keep everyone safe.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The year 2020 has been full of changes and challenges— from social distancing to wearing face masks to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

What if those precautions were brought back to the 14th century? The Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hallow is doing just that as they continue their annual tradition. 

"It gives me a chance to come out and kind of be my weird self," said Joshua McIntyre, a blacksmith at the fair. 

"I'm so glad they decided to have the fair," said McIntyre. "It really gives us not only a chance to get out of the house a little bit, but also you know for the entertainers and artisans, it gives us a chance to make a little bit and try to support ourselves." 

Organizers made both attendees and artisans comfortable with going to the fair, especially during the middle of the pandemic. Even performers wore masks when social distancing wasn't possible. 

"You know, I think people were ready to get out of the house and do something. We've implemented over a dozen new hand washing and sanitizing stations, drastically increased our number of seating that way we could still seat everybody but be socially distanced," said one organizer. 

"It's very surreal," said actor Chris Williams, "but as long as we're safe, this nice little bit of escapism is very welcome."

The Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow continues over the next couple of weekends. A full schedule of events can be found by clicking tapping here

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