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My Ren Faire trip, 2010

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Dance_Dance:
My Northern California Ren Faire Trip:

I went on the last weekend of the faire, having only enough money for one weekend and knowing that the last weekend (at least at this faire) is when all the crazy stuff happens.  The general motto of it is, “Hey, what’re they going to do?  Kick us out?”  Although, typically no one does anything to get the cop’s attention.

This year, I went as a gypsy, thanks to the inspiration from two members here – Trillium gave me the costume idea and isabelladangelo pointed out places to by fabric cheaply.  My vest used to be a curtain and I found some great fabrics at half-off prices for my pouch and scarf.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to make new skirts and had to go with my peasant skirts, which I purposely made muted-color for my peasant character.  But to off-set that, I wore bells and a couple of trinkets. =)

All right, enough about my costume, onward to the faire!  First thing I noticed was that they charged $5 for general parking and $15 for preferred parking.  In the past, it had always been $10 for preferred parking and general parking was free.  Kind of sucks, but they do need to make money and it wasn’t outrageous.   The opening ceremonies were pretty fun to watch, with the mayor’s wife, sheriff, and two other lady’s whose titles escape me (sorry!) trying to figure out who should open the faire for the queen since the mayor was apparently missing.  They snuck in general things about the faire – that they have jousting, comedy shows, musicians, etc. – and then finally settled on a third party to open the faire and had the small parade walk through the shire to alert the store owners and staff that it’s time to “Awake, awake, good people, open your stalls!” (Worked two seasons, will never get that out of my head.)

The faire was absolutely wonderful this year!  For the first half of the first day I was there, I was wondering by myself.  I had invited friends along, but with one reason or another, they all had to back out.  Not that I minded, the faire is so great that you can easily have a good time alone.  But it’s more special with friends, so when I found friends of mine in the food court and realized there was a miscommunication, I danced around in joy. ^_^  My friends, JP and Casey (brothers), and I checked out some of the stores, more of the performances.  On the second day, one more of our friends, Jason, joined us.

The hawkers were great fun to play with – especially when they tried to get me to buy something for my hair.  I was already spending way too much money and I have four flower garlands packed away at my mother’s, so when the third hawker told me to put something in my hair, I covered my head and said, “No!  Leave my head alone!”  As I was running away, I heard her say, “That one’s a crazy one!”  All in good humor, of course.

The entertainers did their jobs wonderfully.  Sadly, it’s impossible to see every show at that faire in just one weekend, but those that I did see were well worth it.  Moonie was hilarious, even more so at the end of the day when he teamed up with Broon.  As were the Washing Wenches and the Van Kleaver Brothers.  The Belles of Bedlam sung so sweetly.  Glenn Morgan played two songs from the CD I bought from him on his dulcimer, a sound that I’ve just fallen in love with.  The glass maker’s demonstration was wonderful and insightful.  Danse Macabre were delightfully eerie, as they are every year, roaming the walk ways, dressed as skeletons and dancing and playing their way along.

And who can forget the concert at the end of the day?  This weekend was the Wicked Tinkers and they were a blast!  But, sadly, I think the sound was off, because I had to practically be next to the stage to clearly hear the lead singer, even when it was just him talking in between songs.  The microphone simply wasn’t turned up enough.  However, their playing of bagpipes, drums, didgeridoos, the whole works, was more than enough to make up for it.  Oh, and in the crowd, I found a man with a short kilt.  And I don’t mean it was “three-inches above his knees” short.  I mean, even a half of inch less of fabric, and we’d see his laddy-maker.  And he liked to dance.

Thankfully he had the presence of mind to hold his short-short kilt down while he bounced around.  XD  He had nothing to do with the show and most others were dressed enough that they didn’t have to hold onto a piece of clothing to dance and not have something slip out (that I noticed, anyway), but the boldness of the man still makes me laugh, so I had to share.

Let’s see . . . oh, yes, the shopping!  We really didn’t buy much and I completely splurged on the little I did buy.  Three CDs, a DVD, a thumb piano, and a rose – all from different people.  There were so many things that caught my eyes that I wanted to buy.  This faire has a lot of things, even a fabric shop and a steam punk shop, and through the course of the two days, we checked out many of the shops in between shows.

The food was, well, Ren Faire food. =P  Found out that I enjoy raspberry mead, turkey legs really should be shared by two people, deep-fried raviolis are delicious, and no matter how carefully you eat it, a sausage on a roll with roasted onions is messy.  Only disappointment was that I couldn’t find horchata this year.

Unfortunately, there is a sad ending to this weekend.  Around two on Sunday, it started to rain.  It had been sprinkling all morning, but now it was pouring.  My friends and I did our best to wade it out, but Jason was dressed up in leather that was not protected, so we left early.  First year I have been rained out of the faire.

And I believe that’s my weekend.  I could write on more about the silliness that my friends and I did, go more into depth about the performers, but I don’t want this going on too long. =P  If you want me to talk more about something, feel free to ask.  I just wanted to give an overview in this post.

To end this, here are some things I heard around the faire:

“I’ve got the sweetest nuts in the shire!”

“You blow! . . . Well.  You blow well.” *said to a glass maker during a demonstration*

“…wrapped in enigma, deep-fried in mystery, served with a side of obscurity.”

“Tree!  Are you a spy?” *a drunk lady with two drunk guards, pressing their ears to a tree to hear it talk*

Wildabeast:
I went on the very last day, but didn't dress up.  I tried to take lots of pictures in the couple of hours I was there, but darn that rain.

I have a link posted in the Photography forum.

kilteddispatcher:
I was there closing day as well, was the only day I managed to go this year... got there at 11, rained out at 2... didn't even get to see half the stalls!

Dance_Dance:
Oh, yay, pics!  ;D  I thought about taking a camera, but honestly, I have more fun when I'm not worrying about "capturing the moment."  And I keep forgetting about it.  I usually only take a few of my friends, random preformers, and have two-thirds of a roll of film left.

And I can't believe we got rained out this year!  There's been numerous times that it has rained but we've never had to leave the place.  But, ugh, that rain was just coming down too hard and too cold for it to be enjoyable anymore.

Aside from this one noble woman I saw.  She was having a blast, in her several laywers of clothing, splashing in the puddles.  :D

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