Family Events

Renaissance Festival Born Anew in Chippewa Falls

Newbourne Village will bring magic, history, and fun this summer

Carlee Shimek |

HISTORICAL HIJINKS. David Pipho, left, and Mark Lakowske, right, are helping create Newbourne Village, a new Renaissance fair which will be held outside Chippewa Falls this summer.
HISTORICAL HIJINKS. David Pipho, left, and Mark Lakowske, right, are helping create Newbourne Village, a new Renaissance fair which will be held outside Chippewa Falls this summer. (Photo by Lawrence Edwards Photography)

At Newbourne Village, you can wear a fairy dress and munch on yummy food while watching a hypnosis show and sitting next to a knight. Sounds like the perfect Saturday afternoon, doesn’t it? The magic, flair, and fun of Renaissance fairs are coming to Chippewa Falls, thanks to Mark Lakowske, executive director, and David Pipho, entertainment director.

Newbourne Village Renaissance Festival will be a brand new immersive experience, possessing activities for all ages and interests, set in the late 1500s but with fairytale aspects woven in seamlessly. It’s anything you want it to be.

“Our mission is to cheer people, make them happy and forget, momentarily, all the unpleasantness in their lives. There’s a lot of stuff that’s been going on in the world today, and a lot of people’s focus is on the not-so-good stuff,” said Lakowske (a.k.a. Master Ticktock). “Our mission is to create a family-friendly event that is affordable, and people can come back and enjoy and feel welcomed, and really have a sense of wonder and adventure and play.”

Our mission is to cheer people, make them happy and forget, momentarily, all the unpleasantness in their lives.

Mark Lakowske

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NEWBOURNE VILLAGE RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL

Come see Master Ticktock’s Hypnosis Show, the Brothers Blackquill’s improvised plays where the audience provides suggestions, interactive characters like Yakov the Knockov and Gilkurn Niftypocket, Blue Horse Theatre with unicorns, the Twin Cities Wyverns (an authentic sword-fighting team), the Birds of a Feather family music group, a singing mermaid, and so much more. 

“We want this to kind of be different from a traditional Renaissance festival in that we’re bringing the characters back to life. So many festivals throughout the country, they’re losing their character interaction, their immersive-ness,” Lackowske said. “We want this to be entertaining, yet at the same time living and breathing.”

There will also be food of all kinds, cooking and blacksmith demonstrations, and vendors with anything and everything, from swords to jewelry and clothing to hand-made fairy trinkets to personalized henna tattoos. This will be Newbourne Village’s first year, so come and support them so they can come back next year; it will be the place to take the family for summer fun again and again.

“What I really hope to accomplish out of this fair is a long-lasting place that can exist for many many years that will be familiar yet ever-changing and ever-growing,” Lakowske said. “I want it to be a place where people can be kids again, even if you’re 99.”

The festival will be open 10am-6pm Saturdays and Sundays, between June 11 and July 3, rain or shine. Each day will be different, so multiple visits will be sure to bring multiple experiences.

Newbourne Village will be at the Eagle Ridge Festival Grounds at 2302 Nelson Road, Chippewa Falls. (The grounds hosted a previous event, the Chippewa Valley Renaissance Fair, until about a decade ago.) Kids 3 and under enter free; youngsters under 18, and senior citizens over 65 are $10; and adults are $15. You can purchase a ticket online or at the gate. Service dogs are allowed, though a waiver is required before entering. Wi-Fi is spotty, so cash is best for shopping.

“How else are you gonna grow a community unless you have things that bring people together?” Lakowske said about the importance of events like this Renaissance fair. “In this day and age, I think there’s so much that’s tearing us apart that we’re forgetting that at the end of the day, we’re all people, we’re all human, and we all desire the same things, and above all, we all just desire to be loved.”


To learn more about the festival, purchase your ticket or even learn about applying to be part of the festival, visit newbournevillage.com.