The first ever Renaissance Fair took place on Saturday, October 21, 2023 in Pyrga (Larnaka District).
It took the visitors on a journey back in time, re-recreating a local fair during the pilgrimage of Catherine Cornaro, last Queen of Cyprus, to the Latin royal chapel of Saint Catherine in Pyrga.
Costumed performers from Italy, San Marino, and Cyprus entertained with songs, dances, story-telling and traditional poetry dating back to the Cypriot and Italian Renaissance. The fair included games and activities for the whole family, an outdoor market of local products and handicrafts, a walk around the venue to see historical monuments and local nature (Latin Royal Chapel of Saint Catherine, Saint Marina church, old Saint Marina church) and food and drinks from local businesses.
The fair was a cultural initiative for the countryside. It offered not only spectacle, but also active participation, focusing on the European element of Cypriot history with all the effects it had and still has. The local community actively participated in the event through the involvement of the Pyrga elementary school, the Saint Barbara Regional Gymnasium, cultural groups and volunteers.
The fair was organized by the Laona Foundation, within the framework of the European project Beyond Cultural Tourism (Be.Cultour, Horizon 2020) in collaboration with the Community Council of Pyrga and the Larnaca and Famagusta Districts Development Agency (ANETEL). The event was under the auspices of the Consulate of San Marino in Cyprus. The media sponsors were Phileleftheros newspaper and in-cyprus and supporters the Dante Alighieri Society Cyprus, the Cyprus Handicraft Service and the association VAMOC.
Date: Saturday, October 21, 2023
Hours: 15:00 – 22:00
Venue: central square in Pyrga, Larnaca
Contact: 70007102, 22532811
Participating artists and groups:
The historical and cultural associations:
La Corte di Olnano e La Compagnia dell’Istrice (San Marino)
Sbandieratori Delle Sette Contrade Di Orte (Italy)
Musicians: Peppe Frana (Italy, medieval lute), Elena Xyda (singing), Christina Polycarpou (Cretan lyre with sympathetic strings), Euripides Dikaios (percussions), Panagiotis Tsappis (ney flute), Andreas Siantanis (lute), Kyriakos Hatziandreou (guitar), Lefteris Giorgitsis (violin)
The community choirs of Pyrga and Pera Chorio Nisou
The Pyrga dance group
Storytelling – children’s theatre workshop: Idekanou Theatre (Elena Pavlidou, Nikoletta Verykiou)
Students of the Saint Barbara regional gymnasium
Volunteers from the local community
Production organisation and execution: Stephanie Polycarpou
Artistic consultant/researcher: Evripides Dikaios
Historical advisor: Dr. Dimitrios Minasidis
Technical director: Christos Christodoulou
Set and costume design: Konstantina Andreou, Iphigenia Abraham
Games design/execution: Rina Souki
Poster design: Katerina Siamma
* Special thanks to mr. Costas Stavrou from Byzantium Travel & Tours for providing us with free materials for the construction of the set and the costumes.