Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Why I Love the Renaissance Faire

As soon as the new year hits I always start day dreaming for summer - more specifically, the renaissance faire. And since I'm doing a 30 day blog challenge with Anna, I thought this would be a perfect time to do a series of renaissance faire-themed posts. Today I'm going to talk about just why I love the renaissance faire so much.

1. The Atmosphere

Right from the moment you step into a faire you'll know that it's different. It's far enough back from the road that there are no sounds of cars. There's no blinking, or flashing, or electronics sounds. The loudest sounds are of people talking, yelling, shouting or singing; and the quieter sounds are of birds, the wind through the trees, and footsteps in the dirt. It seems completely shut off from the modern world, and I love that. There's nothing like spending a day away from the 21st century.

2. The Clothing

While we're on the subject of getting away from the 21st century, there's just nothing like slipping into a bodice and long skirts, with your chemise sleeves adding a good six inches to each side of your arm. It just makes you feel like a new person - like you've stepped into the body of your favorite fantasy or sci-fi character.

3. The Pretend

After you slip on your lovely garb comes the fun part - actually stepping into the life of your character! At the renaissance faire you can be anybody, and it is so much fun - especially when the employees help you out! Every time I go to the renaissance faire there are at least a few gentlemen who will stop and bow and offer up a "good day, my lady" it makes the whole experience so much more real. It makes it even more fun when you play back. Last year - for reasons we won't get into now - my sister and my cousins and I decided to cheer for the "villains" instead of the "heroes" of Bristol. After the last show when they, inevitably, lost to the heroes, I went up to the lead villain and - in my best English accent - told him how sorry I was to see his lordship lose. The actor was a total gem, kissed my hand and told me that my support meant the world to him. Seriously - it was one of the highlights of my day.

4. The Drama

I've always been a sci-fi/fantasy girl. Growing up the Lord of the Rings was my favorite movie/book and the soundtrack was my favorite music. I couldn't begin to count how many hours I spent watching/reading/daydreaming about kings and archers, quests and sword fights. And when I was fifteen I found a place that was as close as I could get to that in real life. Where else can  you sit next to Robin Hood right before Guy of Gisborne shows up and the duel it out??

5. The Food

Everybody knows about the renaissance faire's long-standing tradition of serving turkey legs, but there's a lot of other great food to be had there, too! Some of my favorites are:
  • the cornish dogs (know as "bagel dogs" in the 21st century)
  • the whole pickles on a popsicle stick
  • the butterfly potatoes (a fun twist on kettle cooked crisps)
  • and the pretzels which are sold by a man wondering the faire with a tall wooden pole full of them.

My favorite, most anticipated part of the faire, however, is sasafras! For you poor souls who don't know what sassafras is, it's root beer with black licorice flavoring. Even my little sister who hates both root beer and black licorice loves it! Maybe it's the intense sun and heat of the faire every year, but I swear there is not a cooler, more refreshing drink on the planet.

6. The People

My last, and most favorite thing about the renaissance faire is the people. Never before in my life have a met a nicer, more welcoming, more ready to get down and have fun group of people. From the moment you walk in and there are people waiting to give you directions; to the gentleman who asks you if you're a princess because you're wearing the royal color, purple; to the last song on the balcony above the exit, these people show up to work every day determined to make sure that you and I have the best time there that we possibly can.


  1. You know how I enjoy ren faires as well! I never really get into character or dress up too much, but I do love playing along with all the workers and characters that are there. It's such a fun atmosphere and place to be and everyone is always sooo nice! And ugh...I can't even deal with all the amazing food. I never know what to pick!

  2. Ugh! Now I REALLY wanna go there. :P Did you hear that I'm sewing my grab this year?? I'm excited. I think it'll turn out great. :) It's more medieval than renaissance though. Oh well. :)

  3. I'm a big history and historical fashion nerd so I love any excuse to get away from the 21st century and enjoy some good old-fashioned, historical fun! I know that some people don't care for dressing up or anything but for me, that is part of the experience, getting to be someone out of another time for a day. I've also grown up loving medieval fantasy so that also contributes to my love of Renaissance faires! My cousin and I are planning on going to at least one faire in our area this summer and I cannot wait! Who knows, maybe we'll bump into each other!

    xoxo, Alesha