By Marlena Solomon, TRF Marketing Communications Manager
2020 is a year that no one could have predicted. We started out strong with RV shows in Fort Worth, San Antonio, Houston, Austin and Dallas. TRF Ambassadors came out in full force to not only talk about the festival, but to promote the Fields of New Market Campground.
But before I get ahead of myself, let's backtrack a moment.
What is a TRF Ambassador?
The TRF Ambassador is charged to promote all aspects of the festival throughout the year. Each one is required to have a minimum of five years attending the festival, be enthusiastic about the festival and campgrounds, be active on social media channels, have at least one costume/garb to wear to events, be willing to bring new ideas to the table, and be community minded. What the Ambassadors is not, is a closed clique of people who exist just to get discounts at the festival. Each year applications are accepted during the month of March for new Ambassadors, and the new season of Ambassadors are announced in April.
Yes there are expectations for the Ambassadors, but don't get me wrong, we are a social group, so when COVID reared its ugly head and we could no longer meet in person, we found a way to connect and get to know each other through Zoom Happy Hours hosted by Ambassadors Brandy and Dusty Cabe continuing through the summer.
Reunited at Last!
Our first opportunity to see each other in person and actually convene as a group was the annual backpack drive where we collect backpacks and school supplies that are donated to the Grimes County students in cooperation with the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, Prairie View A&M University Cooperative Extension Program and Strengthening Families of the Brazos Valley. We were thrilled to donate over 150 backpacks and supplies this year!
Other activities we participated in before the season opened included our 3rd Annual Blood drive organized by Ambassador Dorothy Bowlin, Talk Like a Pirate at the Spotted Pony in Spring, TX, filming a safety guidelines video, participating in dress rehearsal, and The Annual Magnolia Stroll.
FONM Family Bonfire
One new venture the Ambassadors undertook was the organization of the Family Bonfire at the Fields of New Market Campground headed by Brandy Cabe and Bobbi Shea in collaboration with Jarl Greybeard and Pat Coveney, then our Campground Manager and now our General Manager! Brandy took the time to meticulously plan all of the campfire events so they were safe for the young campers who participated. Many of the Ambassadors pitched in to help, and the Trunk or Treat event was one of the best we've had to date!
Meet Ups and Ambassador Guides
The second weekend I decided that we should try to meet as a group during festival for those who could make it, and also change up the venues so we could support different vendors including Brigadoon Brewery, the Sea Devil, Barbarian Inn, Polish Pub, Red Lion Tavern and Greek Agora to name a few. It was a few moments during the day to greet each other and snap a group photo together.
The Ambassador Guides were busy hosting new visitors around the festival under the leadership of Chip Ware who coordinated itineraries. All deposits for tours and tips were donated to the RESCU Foundation.
If you're passionate about the Texas Renaissance Festival like we are, please consider joining the Ambassador group! All you need to do is submit a video by the end of March. The video should be no more than one minute, and the criteria we are looking for can be found on the Ambassador page on the website. A panel of judges will review the videos and the announcement of the 2021 class of Ambassadors will be announced in April. If you have any questions at all, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.