Author Topic: Help a Newbie with some more info!  (Read 2706 times)

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Offline Bella Morte

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Help a Newbie with some more info!
« on: April 01, 2009, 08:35:34 PM »
Hello all!

I'm from MD and my hubby and I attend the MDRF every weekend in season. I was getting spring fever and wanted to take a little trip but had a no clue where to go! A friend of mine mentioned he was going to the VA Ren Faire and that it started in spring so I thought it would be fun to drive to VARF, get a hotel room and spend a sat & sun!

I wanted to know a little more about the VARF. The website didn't seem to really get into a lot of the ins and outs and I thought perhaps some of you could help!

What are some of the similarities between VARF and MDRF? Some of the differences? Do they have entertainment acts? What sort of entertainment acts do they usually have? Are any of the weekends themed like a pirate weekend or anything?

From the photos it looked like this winery is a large field / wooded area with tends for vendors? I saw there was a stage for acts and such.  Is that about right?


Offline GoldenGoose

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Re: Help a Newbie with some more info!
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2009, 07:43:21 AM »
MDRF and Virginia Faire are very different experiences. I love them both, but for different reasons. Virginia is very much smaller. Our focus is more educational as we're run by a non-profit educational foundation. And that organization is run entirely by volunteers. And we're, someone correct me if I'm wrong, six, seven years old. So we don't have the wonderful buildings, fancy stages, impressive joust field, multiple taverns. But we are on the grounds of a winery, so if you like to taste wine, you're in luck. About 2/3rds of the site is on rolling grassy grounds, the other third in the woods.

But what we do have is a mellower, more intimate experience. Our small size allows us to have a very high cast to patron ratio. You WILL interact with cast -- it's our mission! There are hands-on experiences and activities for children. You can participate in a pike drill, get called up on charges in the Court of Love, ask our cast questions about 16th century life.

Of course, you can also sit in the pub, enjoy the wine tasting, be entertained by the stage acts and shop to your heart's content! And our smaller size means that you can find a seat in the pub, interact with the artists and get to know the merchants.

We do have four stages -- and our entertainment roster will be published within a few weeks. I'm not going to start listing them because I'll forget someone. There will be music, plays, magic, feats of physical skill, and plenty of comedy. We have jousting, although it's more of an educational and upclose program. Greyhound coursing. Parades. Maypole. Dancing. Pomp and Circumstance.

We have planned our theme weekends, but haven't published them yet. But, what the heck, you asked, so I'll scoop our website.

May 16-17 Romance, May 23-24 Military History, May 30-31 Pirate, June 6-7 Celtic, June 13-14 Midsummer Night's Dream (think Shakespeare and Fantasy)

Offline lowlandscot

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Re: Help a Newbie with some more info!
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2009, 08:07:00 AM »
You forgot wench-on-wench mud wrestling during the inevitable sudden downpour that is guaranteed by God Himself to occur at least twice during the run.

Offline reese

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Re: Help a Newbie with some more info!
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2009, 08:30:20 AM »
If I may add to GG's very well explained reply...comparing them would be like comparing apples to pears, they are similar, but by no means the same.  

Due to the small size, the experience is much different, which for many, or dare I say most,  is the draw.  I describe it as an "intimate" experience.  It's small enough you can meander about, plan to be at a show and head to it with 15 min. of a stroll pace to get there.  Expect to be stopped and drawn into the show, even on the "streets" you can get sucked into the "drama", yet you are still in control of your participation, or lack there of, experience.  

If you wish to be entertained, sit back and just enjoy the activities around you, go to shows, whether they are in the "streets", or on a stage.  Participation is encouraged, but not required...and once you warm up to the atmosphere you may find participating makes your experience at Virginia even more than you can dream up.  

If you wish for shopping, understand it's not a jam packed shopping mall experience.  Again, it's intimate, you get a more personable experience with the vendors, and the selection can be as diverse as MD, just on a much smaller scale, so still expect to have lots of shopping temptations.  

If PUB is your thing, we have ONE, and again it's an intimate atmosphere, and quickly can become home.  

If you are lugging children along, no worries there either.  There is plenty for the children to do that even the adults can enjoy as well.  Child (and the child at heart) participation is much encouraged, how better for children to learn than having a hands on experience.  

You may be surprised how many MD faces you'll know as you wander about VA, you'll feel right at home fairly quick I'm sure. Oh and bringing a portrait maker is a must.  You won't believe how many people think they won't need it then really wish they had it with them so they have documented memories *snort*, or "blackmail material".   
« Last Edit: April 02, 2009, 08:35:15 AM by reese »

Offline Master James

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Re: Help a Newbie with some more info!
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2009, 03:07:12 PM »
Don't know what else I can say that hasn't been said other than come on down and join us.  I'm VERY sure you will be happy you have!
Why can't reality be more like faire?
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Offline Dallan

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Re: Help a Newbie with some more info!
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2009, 12:30:40 PM »
You'll love VARF. We are from Sykesville, MD and this will be our 4th year going to VARF. I agree with everything stated above. What weekend are you planning on? We've typically visited closing weeekend since it has, in the past, been Father's Day weekend. We are heading down Memorial weekend this year and aren't sure if we'll be able to get back for the last weekend.


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