By June 14, 2018 Read More →

Zoning issues plague West Virginia’s Renaissance Festival


The Register-Herald

Sarah Whitley and Misty Jarrell get a ride from elephant Lady Essex at the first West Virginia Renaissance Festival in Lewisburg Saturday.
(Register-Herald photo by Jenny Harnish)

LEWISBURG, W.Va.  — While zoning issues continue to plague the newly-minted West Virginia Renaissance Festival, the elephant in the room during a Tuesday discussion about the controversy was, quite literally, an elephant named “Essex.”

Members of the audience questioned the health of the 44-year-old Asian elephant that was used to provide rides at last weekend’s inaugural edition of the festival. One woman urged the Greenbrier County Commission to disallow the elephant rides.

“It’s a public safety issue,” said Leslee McCarty, who provided commissioners and the media with printed information indicating 18 percent of Asian elephants in the U.S. have tested positive for tuberculosis.

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