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Midwest => Bristol Renaissance Faire => Topic started by: Orphena on June 04, 2015, 12:16:25 PM

Title: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Orphena on June 04, 2015, 12:16:25 PM
I am very excited that I was able to convince m'lord to visit Bristol ren faire, for I have heard much of the level of garments that I hope to see! We are visiting July 11 & 12, 2015.

I'm working on a new gown - m'lord and I most often travel as nobility, and I will be sure to wear my RF pin (As well as my Irish Penny), and a small maple leaf. M'lord and I are both tall, so we are difficult to miss - please come and say hello - we love meeting acquaintances and turning them into friends!

What time is a good time to arrive for decent parking? We always stay the entire day, and I like to catch the gate show if there is one!

Tickets - any discount deals around? We are coming in from Canada, and are unfamiliar with the area, so may need some extra detail!

Is there a "main" pub? Do they serve mead?

Hotel is booked! Can't wait!
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: StareNorthSteve on June 04, 2015, 12:22:27 PM
Anxiously awaiting the responses as we too are going to Bristol for the first time this year. :)
(Ohio Ren natives)

sns 
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Merlin the Elder on June 04, 2015, 12:34:06 PM
We will be coming on closing weekend for the first time.
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Lady Renee Buchanan on June 04, 2015, 05:21:03 PM
Gates open at 10 a.m.  No tailgating allowed in the parking lot.  $5 for paid parking.  Usually regulars get there early.  We usually arrive around 9:30 to 9:45 after a 3 hour drive, and there is always a line to get in the lot.  Pre gate show starts around 9:40-ish.  Faire closes at 7 p.m.

IPB will use the Town Square Pub for the weekend for the gathering and toast at 3 p.m. Each day.  I could not begin to count all the Pubs there are, and yes, they serve mead.

You will see everything from beggars to pirates, to nobility, to Dr. Who, to steampunk to Barbarians, to fairies and elves, belly dancers,chain mail, almost anything that is not indecent, goes.

About the weather.  It can be cool in the 50s, perfect in the high 60s to mid 70s.  It can be 105 degrees with 95% humidity.  More of the time it is hot, hot, hot, and very dusty.  If you are not used to bone scorching weather, you might want to bring backup garb, something light.  First Aid is usually filled up every weekend with people who have passed out from the heat, including me, until I drastically changed my garb to looser bodices and light weight skirts, and this will be our 19th year there!

Through June 19, when you order on their website, there is a $5 discount per day.  If I missed anything, or if you have more questions, I'll be happy to answer if I know.

Looking forward to seeing/meeting all of our RF visitors.
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Gauwyn of Bracknell on June 05, 2015, 07:53:44 AM
Great faire ! Later in the season the heat/humidity can be quite stifling.

(but the tailgating thing I don't like.  They even gave us hassle for just having our tailgate open while we were finishing dressing - so you just have to be REAL discreet if you have a splash of mead in the lot :) .  And it is the only faire we go to that also charges for parking - and we go to quite a few)

Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Orphena on June 08, 2015, 09:58:06 AM
New york charges for parking right across from the gate - worth it to me to be close!

Is all parking paid - or just the premium spots?

Thanks for the tip about discount tickets - good to know!

YAY for Mead!

Lady Renee - I hope I'll be able to meet you and the other RFers!

Tailgating - I'd heard that about Bristol, and won't attempt it. I'm actually quite new to the entire tailgating idea, since we tend not to do it here. I DO put some finishing touches (accessories) on in the parking lot, so I'll be sure to remove any food / beverages from sight. (I assume that having water for personal consumption is allowed?)
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: RefMom3 on June 08, 2015, 11:20:57 AM
I paid for parking in Muskogee; Bristol also has a free lot, but it is farther away, so be aware of that. The online option is likely best for you in Canada, but many Walgreens in the area will also have discounted tickets. True about the tailgating, but I've never seen anyone get a hard time for finishing their dressing. The water bottles may just depend on how badly someone wants to follow policy. On those 100+ degree days, I think even the hard-nosed folks will allow it. We've seen people get their flasks examined, others get ignored.
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Lady Renee Buchanan on June 08, 2015, 08:24:06 PM
You can get dressed in the parking lot.  We usually do, because there is no way I will sit for a 3 hour ride wearing a bodice.

If you park in the usual lot, that is paid parking.  Believe me, it is not premium.  Depending on what time you get there, you may be at the end of the lot.  However, it is much better than the free parking, which is about a mile away through the woods.

You may get stopped going in.  They have security who may ask people to put a wand in their bag/backpack/purse, and depending on how fanatical the security person is, you may get stopped for the water.  You can bring in your empty bottle, and by the main flushable privies, they have several water fountains with ice cold water, so you can fill your bottle up once you're in.  And on the way out, any liquid must be dumped.  I was leaving once with some water in my mug, and I had to empty it before I walked out to the lot.

Don't mean to make the Bristol staff sound like Nazis.  They are not, they are very nice people.  But they have rules and they follow them.  We've never, ever had a problem with them.  Even when they took away our son's mini-keg, they were nice, and they did give it back at the end of the day.
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Merlin the Elder on June 09, 2015, 06:28:11 AM
Am I going to have an issue bringing my staff in??
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Lady Renee Buchanan on June 09, 2015, 04:50:32 PM
No, Merlin, tons of people carry staffs, including us, and no one has ever stopped us or anyone else.
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Gauwyn of Bracknell on June 10, 2015, 05:34:30 AM
Yes, but his is hollowed out and filled with jack  :P
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Merlin the Elder on June 10, 2015, 05:54:34 AM
...and you thought that tap at the bottom was water...  8)
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: RefMom3 on June 10, 2015, 09:27:57 AM
No wonder the stone always has that sort of glow...
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Gauwyn of Bracknell on June 10, 2015, 10:40:52 AM
No wonder the stone always has that sort of glow...

and his face  :o
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: StareNorthSteve on June 10, 2015, 03:27:33 PM
So...if I just happened to have a small flask packed into one of my many pouches...should I expect to searched by security, and then asked to dump the contents of the aforementioned flask? Depending on its contents, that could be pricey!

sns
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Sir Ironhead on June 10, 2015, 10:49:45 PM
I have never been searched entering Bristol other than to insure that my sword is peace tied.
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Lady Renee Buchanan on June 11, 2015, 07:16:17 PM
Usually they check people dressed in mundanes.  Backpacks, purses, etc.  I have had my basket checked before but most of the time, people in garb are passed by.  As long as the flask isn't gigantic and hanging out, you should be fine.  They scrutinize weapons more to make sure that they are peace-tied.
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Orphena on June 12, 2015, 02:07:59 PM
Good to know!

It is always so helpful to have locals let us know what to expect!

Thanks so much!
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: StareNorthSteve on June 12, 2015, 02:21:29 PM
Good to know!

It is always so helpful to have locals let us know what to expect!

Thanks so much!

Well said! Thanks for the tips.

sns
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: max and kate on June 19, 2015, 08:36:05 AM
We always go once a year to Bristol. We are also going opening weekend this year.
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: RefMom3 on June 19, 2015, 08:52:28 AM
I'm going to have to remember to wear a carnation or something; I would love to be able to see others from here strolling around. Of course, it might be easier if I provided a picture...
If you pass a tall, brown (doggy-poop brown ;) )-haired lady and all of a sudden, the thought of whether you returned your library books before you left home pops into your head, you'll know it's me ;) Hello!


On Monday, they posted the entertainment line-up: http://www.renfair.com/bristol/thefaire/entertainment.asp (http://www.renfair.com/bristol/thefaire/entertainment.asp)
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Merlin the Elder on June 19, 2015, 11:52:22 AM
I bet I have a picture of you I can post...
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: RefMom3 on June 23, 2015, 11:20:13 AM
If you do, I wouldn't have to worry about it ;)

Or would I... Honestly, if you do, feel free. I trust you (yes, I said that).
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Alexandra Johanna on June 25, 2015, 01:31:09 PM
But do you trust me? >:-)
Actually, I think we both look lovely here. The Library Lady is on the Right ;-)

(http://www.driftedgypsy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/20130902_154107.jpg)
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Lady Renee Buchanan on June 25, 2015, 06:04:46 PM
Anyone coming for the Irish Penny Brigade National Gathering will receive a customized name tag.  Plus, both days the 3 p.m. Toast will be at the Town Square Public House.  Anyone who is not a member of the IPB, please feel free to Join us.  There are many Forum Members in the IPB.

Plus, you can always look for RF pins.
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: RefMom3 on June 26, 2015, 09:10:15 AM
Alexandra! I forgot about that one... You look very fine; I like that red shade on you. I always look so unkempt. yeesh.
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Alexandra Johanna on June 26, 2015, 12:23:32 PM
Thank you kindly  :) You don't look unkempt at all! You look lovely!
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Merlin the Elder on June 26, 2015, 12:29:44 PM
Thank you, Alexandra.... She won't listen to me. You would think we were married or something...
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: RefMom3 on June 27, 2015, 11:37:55 AM
I listen to you all the time, Master Merlin! With great attention, respect, and joy!
Except when you're less right than usual.

Two weeks! And my daughter still hasn't made the new corset for me. She keeps saying I need to decide the style... I think she is getting me back for something from her childhood ;)
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Merlin the Elder on June 29, 2015, 05:14:43 AM
I forgive you, Dear.
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: RefMom3 on July 01, 2015, 10:14:24 PM
Thank you, Sir; thou'rt entirely too good to me~ ;)
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Orphena on July 06, 2015, 09:04:05 AM
Greetings again! Getting very excited to visit! I have a few more questions, and hoping you can help!

Is there a specific entrance to take for the preferred parking? My directions take me in at Frontage rd, but I'm unclear if the preferred lot ($5) is located there or elsewhere?

Is there a spot where we need to get ID checked for the purpose of alcohol consumption? Is it a one time stop, or an ongoing thing at each pub?

Can anyone give me approximate pricing on Mead / beer? Trying to set my budget!

Does anyone know anything about the RenQuest? I'm interested in participating to get some ideas - I've run several scavenger hunts at our local faire, and looking for inspiration. Is it worth it? Is it too "little kid" for a grown lady to participate?

Oh - and for identification purposes, I will likely be dressed in green nobles, with either a blue or orange forepart. So if you see a very tall noble with blue eyes, that might be me! I'll wear my RF pin, my penny, and a smile!

Thanks!
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Lady Renee Buchanan on July 07, 2015, 05:50:01 AM
Both parking entrances are on the frontage road, but they are well marked with big signs.  Trust me, the car line will lead you right to the preferred parking!

I don't drink, but I don't remember my husband ever getting carded, and there are no wristbands.  I think beer is between $6-7 and I am going to guess that mead and wine is around the same.  There are also some pubs that have mixed alcoholic drinks, but I don't know what their prices are.

Hopefully, there will be others who can advise about RenQuest, because we have never participated and no one we know has.  There is somewhat of a description on the website.

Four days.  Open the gates!   Huzzah!
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: RefMom3 on July 08, 2015, 12:18:48 PM
Currently, my little weather thingy on my phone lists Saturday in the upper 70s and Sunday in the low 80s, and partly sunny ;) Not a bad forecast. There are lots of trees offering shade, but be aware that the jousting area will likely be in full sun, so be prepared.
My kids did the RenQuest many years ago, but I don't remember many details. They didn't do it year after year, so it simply may not have been something that grabbed their attention.
Have to admit; I'm looking forward to just taking some time to sit and just watch everyone, and let it all wash around me ;) Faire is such a wonderful place for people-watching ;)
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Orphena on July 15, 2015, 09:29:24 AM
Huzzah for Bristol!

Great visit, thanks so much for the tips! Mead is $6, and delicious. They have other mixed drinks that we didn't get around to trying because it was HOT HOT HOT, and dehydration was a bigger concern.

We arrived 9:15ish and that was about right for a row or 2 back, in the paid parking lot. The other lots were quite far away.

Right across from the Town Square Pub is a lovely stall that does fruit ices - they were by far the most welcome treat - lemon was excellent - a whole hollowed out lemon (excellent size!) and full of icy refreshing lemon ice - like a sorbet. They also had streawberry, orange and peach. My favourite treat by far!

We also tried the sauteed garlic mushrooms - very nice! and deep fried cheese fritters / balls that were good, but a touch messy in garb. We missed a few colder options in terms of food, but what we had was very good!

We really didn't watch too many shows, but spent the time drinking in the sights and ambience of a very nice festival!

Pro Tip - find the friends of faire garden - it is not too far from the RenQuest vardo -  and spend $5 for a wristband. All day you have a shady place to rest, free water, ice, and gatorade. There are tables and port a potties that are handicapped size and kept clean! (Very worth it as bottles of water are $3 each out in the festival!) Water fountains (free) available by the flushable privvies as well.

We did not end up trying the Renquest, but spoke to one person who was enjoying it. One weekend was simply not long enough!

Other tip for Travellers - AVOID the 94 thru Chicago. Take the toll road - 294 - it will cost you less than $10, tolls range from $1.50 - $1.90 and there are 4 or 5 of them.

Also - the 94 also has tolls - one of them was $6.40 or something. If you stay in Gurnee (where we stayed), you'll have to pay a $2.80 toll everytime to go up to faire on the 94, or research where the 41 is and take that for free.  To avoid tolls, stay to the north of the faire.

Hope that helps other planners!
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Gauwyn of Bracknell on July 15, 2015, 11:30:53 AM
You didn't try the sarsaparilla?  best drink for a buck  :)
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: RefMom3 on July 15, 2015, 11:48:32 AM
The sassafras root beer is sooooo good; they'll make a black cow with it, and it's a little cup of heaven ;)

I'm so glad you enjoyed the visit. I was there Saturday, and it felt so nice to be able to roam around again. They've done a lot of work on the Kid's Kingdom; my daughter, who is 24, kept saying how annoyed she was that it was so cool now when she was technically too old for it (doesn't usually stop her from going in, anyway). There really is a lot for a day, and possibly even a weekend, depending on how many shows you want to see. Got to see a Tortuga show, a Barely Balanced show, Nunnie Nunnie for the first time ever (I don't think they've done Bristol before; at least, not within my memory), and bits and pieces of a few others. I'll be there at least once or twice more before Labor Day weekend and the long-anticipated arrival of the Wizard and his Lovely Bride. Good advice, too, about 294. I always take the tollway, because while it goes slightly out of the way (I'm in a south Chicago suburb), it is much easier driving.
Title: Re: Visiting Opening Weekend!
Post by: Lady Kathleen of Olmsted on July 15, 2015, 06:27:18 PM
Opening weekend was a total blast. And Lady Orphena was as lovely in person as she is in pictures.