Sunday, October 08, 2006

End of the Festival Season, I Think

Went to the Renaissance Fair and Metea Park for the first time yesterday and boy is that a different kind of crowd. I get the feeling that for a fair number of the people there it's the only sunlight they get all year because they spend the rest of their time playing Dungeons & Dragons or WoW. It's fun to visit that freaky little world, though. I mean, hey, I bought D&D when it first came out back when it was a slim, light blue 40 page rule book. It was just a phase for me, though. You could tell they were all going to great trouble to try to "act the part" but couldn't go much further than sprinkling old old timey phrases like "Good day to you" and "Huzzah!" into their conversations. They were still charming, though.

I'm not convinced the people who were part of this event were into the Renaissance period so much as the medieval one, the one with the most violent looking weapons. That was probably my favorite part to see: this group of enthusiasts with ad-hoc chain mail and swords padded with duct tape and socks going after each other in short, intense bouts of hand to hand combat. Before each one, the emcee would remind us all that "back in the 14th century, this is exactly what you would see on the battlefield," and then the guys would start flailing until one scored a hit in some vital area. The loser would make a grimace and then enact a romanticized slow-motion fall to the ground.

Even more dramatic were the two jousters who drove their horses here from Texas. Check out the guy's flowing locks--there was some real ego dueling going on between him and his adversary. They were great horsemen (I think so, at least--I really don't know anything about it) and performed a few really neat feats of skill before engaging in an actual joust: no padded, balsa-wood lances, no helmets; just their hair to protect them. After that, they dismounted and starting swinging real swords at each other (The local padded-sword team had to be eating their hearts out at this) and that was cool too. Then B had a good enough sun burn that we decided to go home.

Of everything, my favorite event was the Punch and Judy Show. The origin of slapstick, it was, Punch and Judy. The puppeteer was funny, too, making repeated self-deprecating jokes pointing out what a bad puppeteer he was (though I thought he was pretty funny). He would break out of character to say things like "Hey folks, I know it's a terrible accent, but I'm doing the best I can" or to admonish the kids "no, when you see the alligator behind Punch, yell 'There he is!'" Still, I laughed pretty hard--at the play, not him--and was glad I got to see it. The picture of J shows that she did too.


Calypso said...

I love the top picture... ;-)

I remember going to the Renaissance festival in sixth grade for a field trip and thinking it was pretty awesome; it was doubly cool because we happened to go on my birthday. Maybe I'll go again next year, for old time's sake...

A.T. said...

have you been to the Renaissance festival in Michigan?
oh and the fall festivals are just beginning. :)

Random1001.5 said...

that's really cool; with the knights battling. Can you imagine yourself on a grassy battlefield with the wind slightly blowing from the west; then the ground begins to shake as you stand in between two thunderous charging formations of hooves and the huge clashes of metal that would follow?

Heh, “what kind of swallow, African or European?”