Press Release

2017 Press Release:


-News Release-

-for immediate


Riverwest Park in NW Omaha (Elkhorn) is taking the public back in time this April 29th & 30th. That’s when the 15th annual NEBRASKA RENAISSANCE FAIRE and the 10th annual MIDLANDS PIRATE FESTIVAL converge for the region’s “family fun fest” of the Spring season.

These established immersions into the world of ‘edutainment’ are re-locating to the area’s fastest growing entertainment venue at Riverwest Park, because of the need for a larger event space.

This year’s Nebraska Renaissance Faire now has room for a pirate’s cove along the Elkhorn River. That means two complete sets of performing rosters will appear on six stages. The featured acts, this year, are: Joust Evolution (the Midwest region’s theatrical equestrian show troupe), the Omaha team of the national Armored Combat League (hosting a regional competition of semi-professional broad sword fighters), Crazy Boy Coy (Kansas City’s top stunt act at
numerous festivals), Barnacle & Scurvy (the pirate comedy show from Minneapolis), Pog-Mo-Thon (Celtic pub band and recording artists), Olskipan Viking Village from Des Moines and the Warwick living history museum.

The combined festivals also include a variety of other shows and strolling acts, an artisan merchants bazaar, a vast food court and beer garden, numerous hands-on games of skill and folk craft activities, a kid’s faery realm in the woods, pony rides, and -of course- an enhanced nautical shoreline for the Pirate Fest.

Children under 5 are free. Kids from 5 to 15 are $5 with adult tickets at $12. There’s even a two-day adult pass for $18.

For more event details see For location and directions see



Greg Schmidt
Mike Amos
Bill Novak

11/2016 Announcement:

The 15th annual NEBRASKA RENAISSANCE FAIRE & the 10th annual Midlands Pirate Festival will take place “together” at Riverwest Park in NW Omaha on April 29th & 30th (11am to 6pm). It will be a co-production of Gregory Schmidt and Mike Amos. These multi-faceted park grounds will offer the public the largest Renfaire site in Nebraska. It will include a beautifully shaded merchant village, a newly themed walk-about area created within Nebraska’s highest-rated scare park, a hidden fairytale enclave, adventure trail, combat fields, living history encampments and a large pirate’s cove along the Elkhorn River.

General location is at 233rd & Maple. See http://riverwestpark.netfor directions. See either or for details (in the near future). To inquire about participation email and/or

6/2016 Release:

F E S T I V A L S   I N T E R N A T I O N A L

-News Release-

-for immediate

“Two Festivals in One!”
*At New Location*

The 14th annual NEBRASKA RENAISSANCE FAIRE and the 9th annual MIDLANDS PIRATE FESTIVAL will be staged ‘together’ on Father’s Day weekend. Gates will be open on friday June 17th from 5pm to 9pm, saturday the 18th from 11am to 8pm and sunday the 19th from 11am to 5:30pm.

The two festivals will celebrate olde-world European cultural history and 18th Century nautical lore in an ‘edutainment’ presentation of family fun. Saturday will host “Cosplay Meets Anime’ Day” and sunday will host “Steampunk vs. Scots-Celts Day” to encourage audience role players to dress in costume.

These combined events will be staged at a new location, this year — the River City Star/Miller’s Landing grounds on the Omaha riverfront, just north of the Lewis & Clark Visitors Center, at 151 Freedom Park Road.

This experience is being touted as a ‘rain or shine’ event thanks to the advantage of having so much shelter coverage with an atrium, lounge, covered patio, large pageant pavilion, multiple showboat decks, pub roofs and numerous tent canopies.

The entertainment line-up for this double festival is unique to any other event in the region, with nationally touring acts. A few of those many featured shows that will appear on the six show stages will be: Fandazzi Fire Circus named the ‘Best Act’ at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, the Omaha Ravens of the nationally competitive Armored Combat League, the Blue Rose Mermaid and her guest mermaids from Des Moines, Peter the Daredevil Juggler, comedy illusions by Merlyn’s Majik, Doc Johnson’s Sideshow of bazaar body stunts, Land of Apples singing duo and Pog-Mo-Thon the Celtic music recording group.

Plus, the festival grounds will be enlivened with the comedic talents of four other professional village character troupes and numerous historical personas. Souvenir photos can be had at the Royale Pirates of Tortuga pillory patio.

Available to the public will be a variety of skill games such as kids archery, axe-tossing, knife-throwing, and the Mad Scotsman’s Golf Challenge. Most of these activities offer a daily open tournament with prizes.

The popular merchants bazaar will host a wide range of artisan and craft goods, from antiquated weapons to period jewelry, offering hundreds of items found at only a Renaissance/pirate fest. Many of the artisans will be doing on-going demonstrations from make-and-take items to pottery throwing. Also, for the first time at any Renaissance faire there will a ‘3DYou Today’ photogrammetry room in which patrons can be covered by 72 full panorama cameras, and then later receive a completed statue or bust of themselves.

The food court will include a multi-menu spread of freshly prepared victuals, from turkey legs to Mediterranean delights prepared on-site. Also, there will be various cold drink booths and libations pubs for adult tastes.

The children’s realm activities are what bring so many families to enjoy the faire. That includes knightings, yard games, treasure hunts, kids archery, the make-and-take craft station, costume contests, the Forking Queen’s play realm, photo ops with mermaids, and storybook characters hosted by a royal court troupe.

The pride of Omaha’s riverfront, the River City Star, will be giving daily cruises during the festival hours. *(See additional info at the bottom)

Attending the NEBRASKA RENAISSANCE FAIRE/Midlands Pirate Festival will help ‘save the world’ in that a portion of the proceeds will go to several local and national charities.

This special double-festival event is being produced by Gregory Schmidt of Iowa-based Festivals International. He is also founder of the Quarters For Quarters charity, the director of the Bueno Gang Kids movie series, and will be a candidate for governor of Iowa.

Admission to Omaha’s newest ‘theme park’ event is $12 for adults, $18 for a 2-day pass, $22 for a 3-day pass, $5 for kids from ages 7-15 and free for tots 6 and under. Parking is free. Advance discounted tickets are available only at the OFFUTT Airbase ITT building. All others are had at the entrance gate during festival hours.

For site information and directions see

For details on the numerous additional activities at the faire/festival see or Contact can be made via or

**{While at the festival, take some time to enjoy a sightseeing cruise on the River City Star. For a unique, fun and memorable experience this one-hour tour will take you north past Freedom Park and south under the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge along the downtown Omaha riverfront. $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, children $8, tots $4.}

***[The River City Star management has invited Festivals International and production associate Allen Huffman of AtTheFaire Creative Services, a theme park consultant, to design and create a multi-faceted family Halloween experience for an annual October attraction. Planning sessions have already begun for this year.]



Greg Schmidt
(641) 583-2209(c)

Tami Bader
(402) 415-6175

News Note (4/25/2016):

With the ever-changing weekend forecast for our original set of dates looking like few people would be able to enjoy the full experience of the NEBRASKA RENAISSANCE FAIRE & Midlands Pirate Festival, we are moving the dates to June 17th, 18th & 19th. This will allow us to add a variety of performers, merchants and special features that couldn’t make the earlier scheduled event.

We here at the home office want you all to stay safe and warm, this weekend, while picturing yourself strolling the Faire in the golden days of md-June. The ‘summer solstice’ allows us to go with a friday 5pm to 9pm evening, plus a long saturday from 11am to 8pm, and sunday from 11am till we all drop from joyous exhaustion (around 5:30pm). That is Father’s Day weekend, so it’s also an opportunity to make dad King for a Day by stuffing him with a turkey leg and allowing him 15 minutes in front of the belly dancers.

Keep in mind that these two ‘original and official‘ festivals are running ‘together’ at our NEW location – – the River City Star Landing/Miller’s Landing Park.

Pray keep up with all the new things we’ll throw into the works via our or or or


Gregory Schmidt

Previous release:

-News Release-
(updates from 4/25/2016 shown in red)

-for immediate

“Festival Duplication Causes Consternation”

The NEBRASKA RENAISSANCE FAIRE has been operating for 14 years with steady growth at several locations. Now, the identity of the popular event is under threat.

The owners and manager of the festival’s former location – the Bellevue Berry/Pumpkin Ranch – plan to heist the dedicated fans and participants from the long-time owner/producers, Festivals International aka Gregory & Bonnie Schmidt.

The ranch’s Schaefer family and the site’s event manager, Howard Coffin of Omaha, have decided to simply run a copy-cat version of the festival with a confounding twist on its name (going with ‘Renaissance Festival of Nebraska’). The “NEBRASKA RENAISSANCE FAIRE & Medieval Pageant” has been registered with the State since 2003 as an annual operating business entity.

“Ironically, Howard was the guy we were grooming to take over the festival for the long run. But instead of paying us a lease fee that would have allowed them to profit from the event, they announced their own faire utilizing an unethical, if not illegal, modification of our state registered business title,” Schmidt explains.

Schmidt and his wife have been, over the course of the past several years, working on transferring production rights for their Iowa Renaissance Festival, Des Moines Renaissance Faire, Quad Cities Renaissance Faire and Iowa-Minnesota Pirate Festival.

[Besides being the writer-producer of the Bueno Gang Kids movie series, Schmidt is also founder of the new Quarters For Quarters charity and the regional gardening movement known as Plant Your Parking. The charity provides beds and emergency lodging for children and single mothers. The gardening project calls for front lawn free-access gardens on city parking easements.]

Now, the Schmidts and their team will be running the Nebraska Renaissance Faire and their Midlands Pirate Festival, together, on April 30/May 1st (rescheduled due to weather: June 17-19) at the River City Star Landing/Pageant Park grounds on the Omaha riverfront.

It appears that the Bellevue Berry Farm will be offering their own weekends of festival, after that.

“It would have been a simple procedure to work with us in order to do this ethically and legally,” Schmidt points out.

His lawyer, an experienced Omaha business protection attorney, has sent the Schaefers and Howard Coffin a ‘cease and desist’ demand letter. It sites the Nebraska State codes that specifically identify the manner in which the Schaefers and Coffin are infringing on the business interests of FEST LLC and the official Nebraska Renaissance Faire.

Not only have they apparently identified themselves as Schmidt’s long-running renaissance faire, they also changed the name of his popular regional Midlands Pirate Festival to Midwest Pirate Festival in order to run their own similar but competitive event on other dates.

They even absconded with control of both of the original Facebook fan pages that belong with Schmidt’s two festivals.

“It’s easy to see how their assuming of our traditional weekends, many of our regular performers, most of our merchants and vendors constitutes fraud in the eyes of legal counsel,” Schmidt clarifies. “All they have to do is modify their event title to something original, and all is well. We’re fine with them attempting a competing but honest festival.”

For further information on the expanding development of this unique account of festival piracy, check in with or view either or



Gregory Schmidt