Weekend Plans Post: The Renaissance Festival
A bunch of co-workers said that they wanted to hit the Ren Faire and we could meet at their house and we’d drive up to Larkspur and make a day of it.
Now, I went to the Ren Faire in Sterling, New York, back in 1988 or 1989 and thought it was delightfully chaotic. Like, if I were going to make a state fair for me and mine, it’d be like the Ren Faire. Everybody was wearing outfits and using horrible accents and you couldn’t tell if it was trying to be in the 1400’s or the 1700’s or what. There was music and food and chaos and stands dedicated to throwing weapons and a live joust and a handful of people wearing Star Trek uniforms.
Well, we moved out to Colorado in 1990 and then I got married in 1998 and next thing you know, it’s 2009 and I’m going to the Ren Faire in Larkspur and it reminded me of Sterling and I mentioned this to a guy at the fair. “Sterling?!?!?” he asked. “THAT’S THE GOLD STANDARD!” I didn’t have the heart to say “yeah, 20 years ago” but, you know, I was reminded of it.
Well, Maribou has been invited by friends and co-workers a handful of times since we last went and I always found a reason to decline the invite (I mean, I made it 20 years between the first one and the second one) but I got asked this time around and I thought “Well, I wonder if there have been any advancements in Renaissance Festival technology.”
To my delight, there haven’t been. Like, not ANY. The food merchants didn’t accept credit cards. The people selling, say, $400 chain mail shirts took them, but the guy selling turkey legs didn’t. Which wasn’t really a problem, but I found myself thinking “there’s a lot of cash flowing around in one very small area…” (but, I suppose, that’s where all of the shirtless muscular men walking around carrying swords came in).
The logistics of the place were absolutely crazy. There were about 20 people in charge of directing traffic in the parking lot, there were about 20 people in charge of being entertaining somewhere around the gate… whether they be singing madrigals or juggling or yelling various insulting greetings from the parapets and, walking through the gate, I was once again transported back to somewhere between the 1400’s and the 1700’s and surrounded by music and food and chaos. (No Star Trek outfits this time. I was kinda surprised. I figured that there always had to be That One Guy.)
I got me a turkey leg and a roast beast sandwich and some kettle corn and I listened to a bunch of guys play “Tequila” on the drums and bagpipes and yell “WHISKEY!” for the lyrics (oh, this is a running gig… if you want to see it, you can here… that’s from 2014, though, and apparently before they added the “WHISKEY!” bit) and there was a TON of chaos and a throwing axe stand and throwing knife stand and throwing stars stand and, yep, a jousting tournament.
If I have any regrets, it’s that I didn’t wear enough sunscreen (I applied it liberally! I swear!) and that I didn’t bring enough cash (I figured they’d all have square!). If you find yourself with an invite to your local ren faire, check it out. Bring cash. Get some meat and some kettle corn and sit and listen to the music and enjoy the chaotic anachronism.
As for this weekend, Maribou is up North visiting friends in B.C. so I am BATCHIN IT. Which means that I will not be wearing pants unless absolutely necessary and pleased that I spent previous weekends going to Costco and King Soopers and elsewhere allowing this weekend to be wiiiide open.
So… what’s on your docket?
(Featured image is “IMG_1972” by Adratte. Used under a Creative Commons License.)