Every year I say “not again” and every year I find myself there again. It isn’t that I can’t resist the advertisements, or that I actually want to go, or even that my arm is being twisted or I’m suffering from undue influence.
Somehow, when the time comes around for the local renaissance festival, my memory plays tricks on me. I think maybe they put something in the water that makes me forget. The weekend comes, I forget that I’m not going, and there I am again.
My grandson loves to go, that probably has a lot to do with it too. What kid wouldn’t love it? Magicians, escape artists, sword-fighting pirates, fire eaters, dueling knights in armor, it’s the kind of storybook place that lets fantasy go wild.
I like these things too; don’t get me wrong. It’s just that after a while; well, I’ve seen it all before and it’s always pretty much the same. Of course, they do have this really good food. I’m partial to the “leg of fowl”, or as we common folk call it, fried leg of turkey.
Besides turkey, they also have kettle corn. I can’t resist kettle corn. Even though the popcorn smell blends with the smell of dung from the camels across the path, I can’t stay away from the kettle corn booth. I take my popcorn elsewhere before eating it, however.
In addition to the strange medieval wearing attire and crafts that are featured in the booths, they also sell a lot of unusual trinkets and baubles that I have a hard time resisting. I told myself, “No jewelry this year.” But, I could look, couldn’t I? It doesn’t cost anything to look.
And that’s how I ended up with the tiger-eye necklace… just looking. But it was really an unusual piece and such a good deal! Besides, I had to do something to pass the afternoon besides watch the laundry wenches frolic, and it wasn’t time for the fire eater yet.
Okay, so I went to see the fire-eater. I don’t know how he does it without burning his insides out, but he does. Not only do I not know how, I also don’t know why. He must have a recessive pyromania gene that makes him want to play with fire. Don’t try this at home, kids.
My grandson kept returning for additional funds until I found out he was spending the money on renaissance versions of games of chance, not hotdogs. He really wanted a stick tossing game, which they did not have. They did have a bow and arrow set, however. Good grief! And I was worried about stick tossing games being dangerous?
By the time the knights were ready to duel, I was ready to go home, but I didn’t want to miss out. Unfortunately, the fire walker’s show was at the same time. Decisions, decisions. Who could resist knights in shinning armor participating in games for the honor of the queen? Violent as it may be, it is still probably the most interesting event there.
Now I’ll grant you that there are some very weird folks running around in the woods in very weird costumes. Not all of them are festival reenactors either, many of them are supposedly the audience.
However, I’m not sure they look a whole lot more bizarre than the gentle folks at the steeplechase race with their silly sundresses and hats — all horsed up for the horse races, with white flesh hanging out everywhere, making pictures for the social section of the newspaper.
But I digress.
At least the people at the Renaissance Faire know they are acting strangely.