Friend of woman killed at renaissance fair speaks out

Fair organizers say they will continue to host at Columbia Park, and they will work with the city to ensure it's a safe environment.

It was a devastating accident that shook the Ye Merrie Greenwood Renaissance Faire in Kennewick Saturday.

A branch snapped off a tree and killed 37-year-old Stephanie Judd.

Her friend and co-worker said Stephanie was a great mom, and she made everyone feel like family.

“She always tried to make life a party,” said Josh Randall, Stephanie’s co-worker. “She was always a happy person Always building relationships with people. That's why she was so great. Everyone that came into the office she helped them feel comfortable.”

The renaissance fair has called the Tri-Cities home for over three decades.

“We have a concern now which we didn't have before,” said Marjorie Kunigisky, production director for the Ye Merrie Greenwood Renaissance Faire.

Kunigisky says they usually inspect a park before setting up shop, and have had crews come in to take care of dead branches in the past, but she says that wasn't the case with this branch.

“This one that came down, it had all its leaves, so it wasn't a dead branch,” Kunigisky said.

While emergency crews rushed in to help Stephanie, entertainers kept the show going to give her and her family privacy.

“It was the best demonstration of people caring for people that I could have expected ever to see,” Kunigisky said.

But the loss for Stephanie’s family and coworkers is devastating.

“She really was just the unity of the office. Always helping everyone feel like they’re welcome and part of something bigger,” Randall said.

Randall started a GoFundMe for Stephanie’s family. Click here to donate.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off