Thursday, October 16, 2008

Time Out for Renaissance Faire

No tatting today...

One day last weekend we got up, played the music of Blackmore's Night singing "The Renaissance Faire" to get in the mood, and indeed headed off to the Renaissance Faire held every fall just north of Charlotte NC.

The weather was wonderful and the crowds less than usual. It runs every weekend through mid November, and I heartily recommend it to anyone within traveling distance. (The same company has a fair in Arizona in the spring.) It may not be historically authentic, but it is a whole lot of fun. There are live jousts, stage shows mostly comedy, lots of music, juggling, sword swallowing, magic, belly dancing, falconry, glass blowing, etc, etc. Many of the guests come in costume, and so did we, but I stupidly forgot to take pictures of the family.

Our long time favorite act is Don Juan and Miguel, who have a comedy show which includes whip tricks and swordfights.

My other favorite act is the Nun Show. These women are just roll on the ground funny.

My favorite musical act is the Puckerbrush Players, a retired husband and wife who now tour the country playing hammer dulcimers. These are two of the nicest people you could hope to meet. I have all their CDs.

Here are some other performers.

Some advice for those that attend: If you buy your tickets ahead of time at Harris Teeter, you get a dollar off and you don't have to stand in line at the gate.

In theory, your admission ticket is all you need, but you want to bring more money for:

  • Buying stuff. Items for sale range from cheesy souvenirs to exquisite jewelry, art, leather, sculpture, clothing, etc.

  • Food. Food at the fair is pricey and often involves standing in long lines. We minimize food expense by eating at the McDonalds just before the fair. (Of course you can go to McDonalds in full costume, and if anyone asks if you are going to the fair, smile brightly and say "What Renaissance fair?") But we do always buy a big bag of cinnamon almonds--you simply must have some of those.

  • Tips for performers. The performers will beg for tips at the end of the show.

  • Other stuff. There are some rides and games that cost extra. Also face painting, hair braiding, etc.

At the end of the day, there used to be a muscians' jam that I enjoyed a lot, but this has apparently dwindled down the last few years. There is also a closing ceremony at the front gate with the cast singing a song with their own made up verses and the firing of the cannon.

If you do stay till closing, it will take a long time to get out of the parking lot. If we stay that late, we bring a picnic to eat in the parking lot until the crowd thins out. (There's a rule against outside food, but they don't seem to mind after closing, we've done it lots.)

We always have a great time. You could stay all day and not see it all.


  1. That looks like a lot of fun.

  2. That does look like a lot of fun! I would want to go in full costume... it would be like taking part in a huge play!

  3. I love Renaissance Fairs. We used to have one close by but now I have to travel to find one. Sounds like a good time!

  4. With some of the performers, like Dexter Trippe, doing different shows during the day, it takes multiple trips to see everything. At 1 pm, do you want to see the joust, or Don Juan & Miguel, or Dexter Trippe, or the belly dancers, the Falconry show, or..the list goes on.

    That reminds me, I have a new bodice, I need a new chemise.

  5. That SO reminds me of our visit to the Appalacian Festival in Cincinnati. Just because it's in America, I suppose!!! Looks like a lot of fun. Funnel cake was something we found we loved at the Appalacian Festival. Yummy, yummy!

  6. That sounds wonderful.
    Thank you so much for showing your photos. We don't have anything even remotely like that

  7. Great pictures! I really want to dress up for it next time.