In the end, a 16th-century village simply wasn’t able to cope with a 21st-century scourge.
Waxahachie’s Scarborough Renaissance Festival announced Friday that it has completely called off what was to have been its landmark 40th year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival had previously pushed back its opening day in hopes of salvaging part of its season.
"We were truly hopeful that the COVID-19 situation would subside in time for us to open with the adjusted 6-week schedule previously announced," festival organizers said in the statement on Scarborough’s website. "However, due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation and the heightened recommendations from the CDC and local officials, Scarborough Renaissance Festival has canceled our 2020 season to ensure the health and safety of our staff, employees, participants, patrons and community.
"We are extremely disappointed that our 2020 season is canceled but plan to be back in 2021 bigger and better than ever to celebrate our 40th season and we hope to see you then!" organizers said in their statement.
Information regarding previously purchased tickets for admission, group events and special events (including Wine & Beer Tasting Events, Mother’s Day Brunch and the Royal Ale Festival) will be coming in the next few days. A spokesperson for the festival said the information will be disseminated as quickly as possible.
The season was to have begun April 10, with the festival being held on Saturdays and Sundays up until its traditional conclusion on Memorial Day.
The state of Texas has put in place restrictions on gatherings of more than 10 people, in order to fight the spread of the virus. Residents are asked to stay in their homes unless they need to leave for essential activities or services.
The longtime Ellis County attraction is under the direction of new general manager Doug Keller, who was hired in February. Longtime GM Coy Sevier is retiring after 23 years at the helm of the company.
Scarborough Renaissance Festival is, as its name suggests, a Renaissance-themed event. Visitors will discover a 35-acre re-creation of an English village celebrating the visit of King Henry VIII and his beloved wife, Catherine of Aragon to the "Village of Scarborough" with a festival of entertainment, artisans, food, magic and merriment.
Events include full combat jousting and birds of prey exhibitions, a Mermaid Lagoon, 25+ stages of non-stop Renaissance entertainment and the 125+ member performing company.
Visitors will discover 200 shoppes of exquisite crafts and amazing artisan demonstrations and will experience knighting ceremonies, combat competitions, the Grande Parade, daily wine and beer tasting events, themed weekends and much more.