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Program 1418

1. Civil War reenactors at Mill Springs
2. Kelley Farms
3. the Highland Renaissance Festival
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Wayne County

For more information:
Mill Springs Park, (606) 679-6337

Producer: Ben McCoy

Making It Real

Civil War reenactors at Mill Springs

You might think of this segment, produced by a Kentucky college student, as a variation on reality TV. Only in this case, it involves re-creating reality as it existed almost 150 years ago.

For his Kentucky Life project, Morehead State University student Ben McCoy decided to delve into the world of Civil War reenactors. He follows several to “reenactment school,” then on to the battlefield at Mill Springs in Wayne County, site of a January 1862 Union victory where the Confederate dead included Brig. Gen. Felix Zollicoffer.

Reenactment school, it turns out, shares some elements with drama school. Participants learn how to create and then embody a historically accurate character. Staying focused and in character is critical—no talking about current events or using words or phrases that wouldn’t have existed in the mid-19th century. One big difference between acting and reenacting, of course, is that for these actors, the performance may last for days.

Kentucky Life previously visited the Mill Springs battlefield in Program 516.

Fayette County

For more information:
Kelley Family Farms, 6483 Old Richmond Rd., Lexington, KY 40515, (859) 543-9464

Producer, videographer, editor: Lauren Claus

Get Lost!

Kelley Family Farms

The Kelley family has been planted on a patch of southern Fayette County for four generations. Once upon a time, they were merchant farmers who ran a general store and grew tobacco. The store closed some time ago, but the Kelleys do still invite all the neighbors to come by once a year and check out one particular item: the largest corn maze in the area.

Like many other Kentucky farm families, the Kelleys have been moving away from tobacco in recent years. In their case, they’ve switched to raising cattle and growing pumpkins, strawberries, and other vegetables and small fruits. And during the fall, one large cornfield is now given over to the construction of a giant maze, with the family dogs as the official greeters. Adventurous visitors can even give it a try by moonlight on designated autumn evenings.

This segment was produced for Kentucky Life by Lauren Claus, a senior at Asbury College, as a project for a media production class. Claus talks with several members of the Kelley family about their move away from tobacco farming in the face of falling prices and their commitment to finding creative ways to stay on the land.

Henry County

For more information:
Highland Renaissance Festival, 955 Elm St., Eminence, KY 40019, (859) 846-4530

Producer: Jessica Gibbs
Videographers: Michael DePersio, Andrea Hummel, Sam McGhee, Helen Thompson

Meet Me at the Faire

the Highland Renaissance Festival

Those interested in stepping back even further in time may want to get to know the Kentucky Highland Renaissance Festival, where the reenactments are of life in the 14th century.

Headquartered in the fictional village of Briarwood, Scotland—which, by an odd quirk of geography, is just outside the Henry County town of Eminence—the festival takes place on weekends over the course of two months in late spring and early summer. Whenever you go, you’ll find jousting matches, jugglers, musicians and dancers, artisan demonstrations, actors portraying 14th-century street scenes, and vendors purveying the very latest in Renaissance wares. But each weekend also has performances and other events built around a theme, from “Lords and Ladies Romance” to “Masquerade” to “Pirates.”

The Highland Renaissance Festival just got started in 2006, but it’s growing fast. The site, formerly farmland, is dedicated just to it, and much of the festival “set” stays up year-round. The Great Hall of Briarwood can be rented out for weddings and other private events, and the stage hosts other events such as an annual Celtic music festival in September.

SEASON 14 PROGRAMS: 140114021403140414051406140714081409
142214231424142514261427: Lincoln: ‘I, too, am a Kentuckian.’1428142914301431

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