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Tim Berghold: “Have an open mind and come for something that's going to be a bit of a fantasy adventure.”

Tim Berghold spoke with the Missouri on Mic team at the Central Missouri Renaissance Festival in October. He spoke about how this festival, in particular, brings people together and about the importance of having an open mind while engaging in a fantasy world.

Missouri on Mic is an oral history and journalism project documenting stories from around the state in its 200th year.

Tim Berghold: For me, Missouri is my home. To visitors, you know, it's just a distant land somewhere here in the 50 States.

It's special to me because I was born and raised here. I don't know what others – outsiders – what they're looking for when they come.

I mean, we have things that are unique, like our toasted ravioli and our provel cheese and our Imo's pizza, and we've got our Arch. But we also got some great barbecue up in the Kansas City area.

It’s a place I live. It’s a place I call home. If others are interested in finding out what's here, come along, but I don't know what to draw what draws them in, in particular – maybe they like our Cardinals, maybe they like the Chiefs, maybe they like the Blues, and that’s just something they’re into.

Rebecca Smith

Out here at the Renn Faire, you get medieval, and you get some of those fantasy elements from several different genres, and it all comes together.

And maybe you don't know what something is or where it's from, but you can ask around – I'll tell you where it came from or what the origin is.

But it doesn't matter if it's futuristic or if it's steampunk or, you know, there's a lot of blend with everything that exists out here, and it's just a lot of fun to see the costumes that people come up with.

For a lot of people, you can be fans of several different things – envision a place that's going to be a fantasy world, usually set in some type of a medieval era – swords, armor – you're going to see a lot of that when you come out to something like this

But you can also see the magic realm, fae side of everything. Mythical creatures. It's a hodgepodge of a lot of different things, and it doesn't have to necessarily be period.

So, I say have an open mind and come for something that's going to be a bit of a fantasy adventure.

I've only been out to this particular one a couple of times, and every time I come out here, I'll meet up with my brother who travels from Kansas City, and me – living on the St. Louis side – I get together with family, but I also get to bring some of my friends out.

And for some of them, it's their first time coming out to a festival. So, I tell them, “this one here is probably more unique than either experiences you'll have on the other side of the state.”

It's my homeland.

You know, I think it's because everyone is close, it's community. It's more about the community itself, I feel.

For a lot of performers and artists this is their end of the season blowout. It's one massive party where we can be personable with each other.

I've gotten to know several people who come out and do this – some for a living, some as a hobby, but they love it, and I get to hang out with all my friends who both our patrons like myself or are performers who are also here enjoying themselves as patrons. It's a big party for us.

I want to see continued growth for this festival. I want to see new artists who are coming to Faire who are developing their skill and their craft. New performers. New products. New talent.

Sometimes you have a chance to learn from somebody and what they do to make something look a particular way. It's just – people are very creative, and it's cool to see that creativity here.

Abigail Ruhman is a reporter and afternoon newscast anchor for KBIA. They are working on a special series, and have produced for KBIA's Missouri on Mic and Missouri Health Talks in the past.