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story.lead_photo.caption The Central Missouri Renaissance Festival will return Saturday and Sunday at Boster Castle Fairgrounds south of I-70. Photo by File photo

When the Central Missouri Renaissance Festival descends on Callaway County this weekend, it will be a larger spring festival than usual.

Board president Stephen Eickhorst said the festival is expecting big crowds this year.

The festival takes place three times each year — for two weekends in the spring and one weekend in the fall. Last year, only the fall weekend took place due to the pandemic. Eickhorst said there was a big turnout during the fall weekend in October.

The festival introduced hand-washing stations and staff wore masks. The plan for this spring is similar, Eickhorst said, explaining that there were no incidents or outbreaks in the fall.

"It's a nice open-air event," he said. "We feel it is going to be safe."

There's usually around 40 vendors during the spring festivals, but over 60 are expected to come this weekend, including new vendors.

One possible reason for the increase in vendors is other renaissance festivals across the nation canceled and postponed their events.

The Central Missouri Renaissance Festival is situated on 30 acres at Boster Castle Fairgrounds south of I-70.

"It's pretty easy for us to space out," Eickhorst said.

He also said that ticket sales were up and that the festival's following has gone up.

"I know a lot of people are looking for something to do," Eickhorst said.

The festival will collect canned food at the gate for Mid Missouri Mission to benefit those in Callaway County.

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