August 25, 2008

What I learned at the Renn Faire

Did you know that the Elizabethan Era (1558-1603) was apparently overrun with Johnny Dep looking pirates (Golden Age of Piracy 1650s to 1720s), Gypsies and Victorian Era Scotsman? Well apparently it is! Months ago I started planning a little romantic getaway for Ktreva and myself. This was long before this whole Oklahoma project started. On Friday we left work early, made our way to a little romantic hotel getaway in Chicago and spent the days at the Bristol Renn Faire.

For those of you that don’t know, Ktreva and I got our re-enacting start in the Renn Faire circuit. We haven’t been to the faire in years. So when I started planning the weekend, we decided that we were going to go back to our roots and visit the place that gave us our start. Even though we had long moved on, we still wanted to go. We thought it would be kind of fun revisiting a place that gave us the start in re-enacting, but also the first place we went on our first romantic holiday to.

Due to the number of pictures I’m putting most of this post in the extended entry. Let me warn you know, some of the pictures from the Faire may not be NSFW but they may be hard to explain, and in a couple of cases just disturbing. Click at your own risk.

For those of you that have never been to a Renn Faire, don’t knock them until you go. You don’t have to dress; lord knows we don’t (anymore). You just go to have fun. If you are looking for history and historical accuracy, it can be found. You just need to look for it. Honestly being a history buff that I am, there isn’t as much history there as I had hoped, but there was some. Including an actually 1600’s swivel gun off of a ship and the History encampments. However, the guy explaining the history of black powder firearms was stumped by some of my questions. I don’t think he was used to someone that actually knows a thing or two about black powder shooting. Although those matchlocks were really cool anyway.

The one thing you will see at any renn faire is the fantasy crowd. The ones that dress up elves, dwarves, goofy barbarians, characters form Dungeons and Dragons, characters from movies and Sci-Fi. Even though there were no Klingons, there was a storm trooper. You will also see the people that think they are dressing historically accurate and they really were not. They have leather doublets with worked in Celtic knot work or fantasy designs. They think it’s accurate because they bought it at the Renn Faire. But the costuming is what makes the Renn Faire fun. You have the good, the bad and the laughable.

Good Costume.jpg
The Good. An accurate Elizabethan gown.

historically inaccurate.JPG
The bad. This group of fantasy dragon slayers.

The laughable. I’m not sure what this guy is supposed to be, but it’s not good.

Along with the costumes you have the gypsy crowd. It seems like one out of three women there thought they were a gypsy or a belly dancer. Most of them achieved this goal by wearing chainmail bikinis. Now Chainmail bikinis can be a wonderful thing, they can also be scary. This past weekend there weren’t any really horrible chainmail violations, but there were a couple that really stood out. Let me give you an example.

Good Chainmail.JPG
What chainmail bikinis should look like.

Chainmail violation.JPG
A Chainmail violation!

Then there were the performers, the people that put on shows to entertain the crowd. Some of them were funny, some of them were amazing and others were just entertaining. There were actors, musicians, street performers, swordsmen and jousters. I could do a whole post on the performers, but I’m just going to touch on some of the favorites we had this weekend.

Fire Whip.JPG
The Fire Whip Show. This guy holds the world record for most whip cracks in a minute and cracking the longest whip. He was really amazing to watch. He’d swing the whips so fast you couldn’t see them, but you could hear the cracks.

MooNie the Magnificent. This guy does a hilarious juggling, rope walking, and comedy show. I hadn’t laughed that hard in years.

Various Street musicians. This lady is playing a spinet, a small harpsichord. There were many others, including a guy playing a hurdy gurdy and our friend Jesse Linda, AKA Jock Stewart roaming around playing at various stages.

Autumn fairie.JPG
There was also the Fantastikals. A group that portrays mythical creatures such as trolls, fairies and other fae folk. Above is the Autumn Fairie.

There were also all kinds of services there. Such things as tarot reading, fortunes told, games, food, shops, face painting, henna tattoos and hair braiding. The second day of the show Ktreva decided to get her hair braided by the Twisted Sisters Hair Braiding.

Ktreva’s Braided Hair

We had a great time. It’s hard to believe that we hadn’t been there in so many years. When it was over Ktreva and I talked and tried to figure out why we quit going. It was because of the direction we went in our re-enacting. We focused so much on early American that we gave up on the Renn Faire. So we’ve decided that we are going to take the next couple of years off of early American and go back to Renn Faire re-enacting. Of course we are going to stick with the historical accurate part of it, but it’ll still be Renn Faire.

Just kidding, it was fun to visit and we’ll probably start attending again as general public, but not as participants.

Posted by Contagion in Stories about me. at August 25, 2008 09:54 PM | TrackBack

Cool - I was thinking of going up there this year (never been) but just didn't have much in the way of free weekends.
Ktreva's braiding is pretty dang cool.

Posted by: Shadoglare at August 26, 2008 07:03 AM

you sound just like our ren geek friends about the Jack Sparrows and the gypsies! But I agree entirely.

I have a new appreciation for ren faire this year, after spending much of the spring making accurate Elizabethan minstrel costumes for hubby's school's choir to wear at the Faire here. Wow. Can't imagine actually doing it by hand.

Posted by: caltechgirl at August 26, 2008 10:16 AM

I'm so glad you two had a good time. Love love love Ktreva's hair! Isn't it fun when a plan works. :-)

Posted by: Teresa at August 27, 2008 10:15 PM

 塑料托盘 托盘 托盘 仓储笼 塑料托盘 托盘 手推车 钢托盘

Posted by: 货架 at August 16, 2009 07:04 PM