I have been to 'Ren-Fairs' before, but not since living in Australia, and I have to be honest, I was fully prepared for this one to suck. Las Vegas does a lot of things well, but when it comes to certain aspects of culture, it tends to lack (I'm not saying it's bad, just that when you have lived in Melbourne, and New York City, you tend to get a little spoilt with the diversity and quality of all things cultural). But when it comes to hosting a bunch of people who are happy to walk around in costumes from another era (in the daylight mind you) and put on a show, I was quite pleasantly surprised.
Although, if I am truly honest, I will admit that the whole time I kept thinking 'Sheldon Cooper would be so upset with the lack of true authenticity that the whole fair has' (and again, if you aren't a fan of 'Big Bang Theory' that comment just went right over your head). There were giant beer cans atop of 'Mead Tents', people dressed in costume talking on cellphones and taking photos with cameras - he would have had a field day pointing out the in-accuracies. But I digress.
Prior to entering the fair, while waiting for friends to arrive, we saw Robin and his band of Merry Men (some of them appearing to be quite 'merry'), a King and his entourage including a Little Person dressed as a jester (there's a joke in there somewhere) and a bunch of people who looked like they would be more suited to being in a S & M bar than an Renaissance Fair, but hey, who am I to judge?
Once in the actual 'fair grounds' there were booths a plenty for getting your 'ye old wench's clothing' or for you to drop $200 on a version of a lute or mandolin (although he called it a violin - sorry, but you don't use a crank to play a violin - or a lute or mandolin for that matter), places to buy kilts, viking attire, fairy attire (of course) and so on. Some of the vendors were a little, let's say 'insistent' but for the most part they were friendly and happy to impart some 'ye old' information on you.
Baby girl wasn't real keen on the whole 'participation' deal - there were performers who would come up to you and start to interact with you (grabbing the stroller, going to hand you a 'flagon of wine' only to take it away, that sort of thing) - Little P would look at them like they were crazy and then come hide behind me, but for the most part, she was all for checking out the displays and just doing some good old fashioned people watching.
|(Little P doing her 'EMO' impersonation in front of one of the camps)|
Her favorite parts were by far the horse rides (which she was unfortunately too small to go on) and the Joust. I have a feeling if I hadn't dragged her away to keep looking at other things, she would have stayed and watched them Joust all day. We saw a band of 'Merry Players' performing the entire works of Shakespeare in under 30 minutes (that was my personal favorite) public floggings (who doesn't like a good flogging?) knights doing battle, Merlin performing magic and so on. It really was well put together.
|(Take that, you son of a half troll)|
|(A little Macbeth anyone?)|
The food was a little, well, 21st century. Sure, there were places where you could get a turkey leg or 'meat on a stick', but me thinks that Thai food, hot dogs, burgers and fries where not the daily offerings at the tavern. Speaking of which, there were a couple of 'public houses' with their own barbarians as security (nice touch).
Aside from it being a touch warm and there being way too much to see in just one day, it was a great way to spend a Sunday morning. There were a couple of things that would have made it just a wee bit more enjoyable - having M there and my folks. I just know my Dad would have gotten a kick out of it (one of the things that suck about living so far away from family).
But there will be plenty of time for more fairs (one's that Little P might actually remember) and more chances to expose her to all the wonderful types of people that are out there.
So, till next time, tighten your corset, pull up your tights and get your 'medieval slang' book handy - it's gonna get 'ye old crazy' in here.