I like Renaissance Fairs! I think its fun to spend an afternoon wandering through a mock medieval village, seeing what the merchants have to offer, watching sword fights and jousting matches, and enjoying the sometimes elaborate Renaissance costumes. I don’t dress up – although I’m not opposed to it. It’s more of a matter of not owning anything appropriate and not being motivated enough to sew or purchase Renaissance garb when I only go to a Renaissance Fair once every year or two…or five. But if I had a Renaissance gown, I would totally suit up and strut my stuff.
A few weeks back, Groupon was offering tickets to a local Renaissance Faire. I knew it was going to be a good one – because they spelled it “Faire” instead of “Fair” – so obviously authenticity mattered to these folks! I purchased tickets and invited my daughter to come with me for “a day of medieval activities, including a medieval village and market, melee battles, medieval equestrian jousting” and more! They used the word “medieval” about a dozen times – so I overlooked the fact that this Renaissance Fair was being held at a museum dedicated to the history of hot air ballooning – something that wasn’t even invented until about 200 years later.
Last weekend, we arrived at the balloon museum around lunchtime – practically salivating in anticipation of the “commoner’s food court” where we hoped to purchase a smoked turkey leg (because nothing says “Renaissance” like appendages of a bird that medieval people never laid eyes on, let alone cooked or ate).
As we waited in line to get in, I saw the first person in costume:
It only got worse. Once inside, while waiting in line for our turkey leg, we saw this:
As we wandered through the “medieval market” (made up of about ten tents scattered in no particular order around the field), we saw several other costumed folks – all in garb that was not at all Renaissance-y and often confusing.
But luckily, there were a few costumes that, even if they weren’t 100% authentic, made my day: