Mastiffs in chain maille, Corgis in kilts, Dachshunds with dragon wings.
Have you dreamed about dressing up your doggie for a visit to the Renaissance Faire–only to find out that they weren’t allowed? Well, Fido won’t have to be left home this year while you feast on a turkey leg, quaff a pint of ale, and cheer on the jousters.
The Wentzville Board of Aldermen passed a resolution earlier this week allowing patrons of the St. Louis Renaissance Faire to bring their dogs to the event, as long as certain conditions are met.
The Renaissance festival, which this year runs from May 16 to June 14 in Wentzville’s Rotary Park, used to welcome dogs (well, pets in general, because in years past, the faire has been visited by patrons with snakes, parrots, ferrets, and even a goat). In 2012, however, the city adopted an ordinance that prohibited “bringing animals of any type to any City sponsored or sanctioned event, with the exception of those animals specifically named in writing during the permitting and planning processes. . .”
That was quite a blow to the cast, vendors, and patrons of the village of Petite Lyon, the festival’s re-created Renaissance village.
Management of the festival was transferred just before the 2014 Faire from the founding organization (the local nonprofit Renaissance St. Louis, Inc.) to Mid-America Festivals Corporation, which runs large fairs in Kansas City, Minneapolis, and Holly, Michigan. According to city documents, Mid-America requested that the city exempt the festival from the 2012 ordinance and negotiated with city staff, police, and parks personnel to come up with a set of requirements for patrons’ pets:
- Dogs must enter through a designated pet gate
- Dogs must be registered and dog admission fees paid
- Dogs must have proof of rabies vaccination
- No aggressive dogs will be permitted
- Dogs must be on a leash, no longer than four feet, and under control at all time
- Dogs must wear a festival tag on their collars
- Owners must clean up after their dogs
- Only one dog per owner
- If a dog poses a risk to health and safety, it may be removed
- Service animals will be admitted under ADA regulations
The amendment passed unanimously, so festival patrons will once again be able to bring their pets to the Renaissance Faire if they’re willing to jump through a few hoops. (The owners, not the pets.)
The amendment also addressed two other concerns with the original contract and the licensing agreement with Mid-America: permitting the city to use the faire site for other events, and clarifying that faire management and individual vendor booth owners are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their facilities.