The process to become one of the dozens of performers at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival is long. There are workshops, auditions and more than two months of rehearsal before the popular festival even opens.

The process to become one of the dozens of performers at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival is long. There are workshops, auditions and more than two months of rehearsal before the popular festival even opens.

“They must create their own character, build their own costume and learn the dances and songs of the day,” said Jim Stamberger, Independence resident and director of entertainment for the festival. “Also they work on dialect, vocabulary of the period and the customs and manners of the day as it pertains to their individual character.”

The Renaissance Festival, which is celebrating its 35th year, allows people to enter into the 17th century village of Canterbury. Among the many characters at the festival are Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men, the Evil Duchess, Maid Marion, Little John and the Sherriff of Canterbury. The Green man will also be walking around. He is a 12-foot tree that slowly walks through the festival greeting visitors as he passes.

Of the more than 1,500 performers that can be seen throughout the festival, many are from the Eastern Jackson County area.

The Renaissance Festival is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends, through Oct. 16 in Bonner Springs, Kan. It is also open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 17, which is Columbus Day.

Admission is $18.95 for adults; $9.95 for children five to 12-years-old and $16.50 for senior citizens. Two-day passes are $34 and season passes are $74.95 for adults and $40 for children under 12.

Discounted tickets can be purchased in advance at Walgreens and Hy-Vee. Theme weekends this year include Irish Fest/Legend Quest, Pirate’s Ale Fest, Wine, Chocolate and Romance and Italian Carnivale.

“I enjoy interacting with the patrons,” Stamberger said. “Watching the face of a lady who has her hand kissed, the wonder of a child who is being introduced to the Queen as a Princess. Also the opportunity to give people a place to play. There is not enough play in our modern world.”

Among the new entertainment this year is the Canterbury’s Got Heroes, a comedic fight show. It is at 3 p.m. each day in the Royal Glade. Children can have fun in the Children’s Relm, which has free crafts and activities as well as take rides on the Flying Dragon or the Barrel of Bedlam. For an additional fee, visitors can join in on the Feaste of Fooles, the Queen’s Tea, the Renaissance Smoker or the Phantom’s Feast.

“What sets us apart from any other event like ours is that we have living, breathing characters from our village walking through our lanes,” Stamberger said. “You can talk and joke with the villagers of Canterbury throughout the day.”

For more information on the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, visit the website at www.kcrenfest.com or call 913-721-2110.