After being sidelined last year by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Avalon Faire is back for its monthlong run in Kilgore.

The Renaissance festival, which includes vendors, music, artisans and concessions, also features jousting performances, birds of prey shows and other acts.

“We were very hopeful that we would be able to open this year because we knew the governor was getting ready to open the state back up,” vendor coordinator Gelene Grim-Marquez said. “So, we’re very excited to be able to open this year.”

A theme has been selected for each weekend of the faire.

“Pirate Invasion” is the theme for the weekend of April 17-18; “Tartans & Kilts,” April 24-25; “Fairies & Folklore,” May 1-2; “Return of the King,” May 8-9; and “Viking Invasion,” May 15-16.

Grim-Marquez said the event vendors are all artisans who have created their own wares.

“So you can find a leather maker, you can find wood workers, you can find people who create costumes and people who create jewelry,” she said.

There also are some changes and new additions to this year’s event, Grim-Marquez said.

“We’ve added a whole new section that wasn’t here in 2019,” she said. “We’ve added about two acres, and that’s where we’ve moved our game area, and it will also have a new food section and some new vendors.”

The Avalon Faire also will include school day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 23.

After the cancellation of last year’s show, Grim-Marquez said people in the community had been asking whether the event would take place this year.

“We have had lots of people talking about it, and I get two or three calls a day asking when we’re going to be open,” she said. “My husband and I were at Walmart a few weeks ago, and someone stopped us and asked if the faire was going to be open because they recognized us.”

Grim-Marquez said since the festival didn’t’ happen last year, they’re hoping for a much bigger turnout this year.

“We normally get 300 to 500 people a day, and we’re hoping to get 500 to 800 a day this year,” she said. “And we have plenty of room on the site for people to be able to social distance comfortably.”

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