Friday, March 7, 2014

10 Reasons Why You Should Go To A Renaissance Festival

 
     If you've never been to a renaissance festival, you're missing out on a chance to travel back in time to the 15th century. Where else will you experience an archaic privy, royal encampments, pirate raids and stout for breakfast?
     I'm a fourteen year veteran of the renaissance festival, and here are 10 reasons why you should lace up your boots, tighten your corset and visit the local faire:

1.  ROLE PLAYING:  Other than Halloween, this is the only time of year you can fly your freak flag by wearing a pirate hat, fairy wings, a king's crown or a cat mask. There's no social hierarchy among the attendees of a renaissance festival----CEOs dressed as saucy wenches rub elbows with middle school janitors in royal garb. No one cares about your net worth or your upbringing. The only thing you'll be judged on at the faire is your swordsmanship and beer drinking skills.

2.  FOOD:  Turkey legs. Fried pickles. Chocolate covered bacon on a stick. Did they have all of these delicacies during the renaissance era? No. Would they have wanted them? Heck yeah!

3.  GAMES:  This is a great place to test your skills in axe throwing, archery and jousting. A word of warning: the chances of you winning any of these tournaments is as likely as finding the Holy Grail under the tool shed in your backyard. If you're lucky, you might win the consolation prize---- a t-shirt that reads, "I RODE ON A UNICORN HORN AT THE FAIRE!"

4.  REN PORN:  There's more exposed skin at the faire than you'll find on a beach in Nice. Women wear gowns with necklines down to their navels and the men in tights leave little (or a LOT) to the imagination. You'll see tattoos in places you never thought possible. The manly men in kilts will keep you guessing as to whether or not they're wearing a boulder brace or going commando under their plaid skirts.

5.  LIBATIONS:  If you don't have the taste buds for warm mead in a wooden mug, don't worry. There are plenty of rum runners and frozen mojitos at the faire's pub. If these wicked libations were available back in the 1400's, there would have been less wars and more napping.

6.  RIDES:  What sets the renaissance festival rides apart from carnival rides is the lack of electricity. When you climb into a spinning barrel or a giant, rocking horse, the ride is powered by sheer muscle. In other words, a burly man in tights will be in control of your mortality when you board the swinging pirate ship. Avoid any ride named, "The Hurlinator." This is especially important if you've consumed a large plate of sausage and peppers washed down with too many mugs of mead.

7.  PEOPLE WATCHING:  Where else can you find a parade of wenches, cardinals and knights? The costumes tend to alter the personalities of the people wearing them…..especially if they've added rum floaters to a few of those frozen concoctions from the pub.  Just steer clear of the man dressed as a polka dotted caterpillar.


8.  VENDORS:  There is an abundance of arts and crafts available if you like unusual souvenirs that you'll never use again….such as a didgeridoo and a horned Viking helmet. DON'T take the didgeridoo to work to show your friends. Blowing into the large, wooden instrument to replicate the sound of an injured buffalo is NOT conducive to a happy work atmosphere……unless you buy a pipe for everyone in the office and break out into an impromptu didgeridoo concert during lunch hour.

9.  SHOWS:  If you're looking for Disney quality shows, you're in the wrong century. There is nothing G-rated about the festival's bawdy humor, musicals or daredevil acts. But you WILL laugh hard enough that a quick trip to a privy might be necessary. If you like men with long poles on horses, then the jousting show is for you.

10. ROMANCE:  Nothing is more romantic than being surrounded by people dressed like characters from the cover of a bodice-ripping, romance novel. Love is in the air….along with alcohol and revealing clothes. Welcome to 50 Shades Of Renaissance Grey.

     At the end of the day when you leave with a big bag of kettle corn tucked under your arm, you'll be thankful to return to your modern day conveniences. Nothing beats air conditioning and indoor plumbing….except maybe a slow roasted turkey leg.



Menopausal Mother has been featured on several sites this week. This is where you can also find me:
http://humorwriters.org/2014/03/05/7-deadly-sins-menopause
http://midlifeboulevard.com/12-signs-youre-menopause-isnt-fun
http://humoroutcasts.com/2014/the-vitamin-shop          

72 comments:

  1. True story: the night I met my husband we were trying to flag down a waitress and I yelled "bar wench." He fell in love with me that moment (well not really, but we tell the story that way).

    I've never been to a renaissance festival but you make it sound like an urgent matter that I get to one soon.

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    1. I LOVE how you met you husband!!! And YES, it is URGENT that you hit the nearest Ren-Fest whenever you can. You will make memories you never IMAGINED!

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  2. You had me at Beer Drinking, Marcia! But, adding in all of that food...yes please! I'm willing to get dressed up in costume but no plans on showing skin for moi. Being a voyeur of the pretty women -yes! :) I've never been, nor obviously participated, and you have just painted a very inviting picture!Oh, beer and food = no spinning rides of any type! What a fun post to read! :)

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    1. So glad you liked it, Mike! You would really enjoy one of these festivals. It took me years to be convinced to go---I always thought of them as being grimy places….but I was wrong. First time I went, I loved it so much that I now go EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND when it's in town. Oh, the fried fish and chips there are to DIE for!

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  3. I'd love the period costumes... they are pretty sexy for the time and era they came from... looks like you have a lot of fun Marcia ♡

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    1. I really do love it, Launna. I go every weekend out of the six that they are here!

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  4. How I'd love to go to one of these! They look like so much fun!

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    1. They are!!! Next time you hear of one, try to go to it---you'll love it and the food is actually EXCELLENT!

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  6. "The manly men in kilts will keep you guessing as to whether or not they're wearing a boulder brace or going commando under their plaid skirts." - That line right there sold me. I'm going to go to Ren Fest. Now then, excuse me while I go back to my pintrest and drools over pictures of Jason Momoa in a kilt.

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  7. The people watching is DEFINITELY the best part of a renaissance fair!

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    1. Isn't that the truth? It brings out the fun in people but it also brings out all the weirdos, hahaha!!!!

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  8. I want to go! I'd need to loosen the old corset for the kettle corn and beer, but somehow I think I'd be okay with that decision! You are beautiful, Marcia!

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    1. Michele, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE come visit me! If you come next year in Feb.-March we could go together! And yes, we shall loosen our corsets and eat like KINGS!!!!

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  9. We have an annual one here in Texas that's pretty damn entertaining! I haven't been in Y-E-A-R-S, but I was just telling the hubs that I bet our boys would enjoy it. All I remember is the hot guys, and the fact I rode an elephant once. Oh, and I had my hair done all renaissance-ish, too. In my twenties, myself and my waiter friends would go on our days off. BAH-last.

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    1. Beth, you MUST go and take the boys!!! My kids have been going for 14 years and we STILL have a blast with them! Of course, now they're adults buying mead instead of wooden swords, which makes things even more fun…..

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  10. I used to sell goods at a King Richard's Faire in the 80's. Party with fire eaters.

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    1. Oh, how I wish I'd known you then…..

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  11. I haven't been to a faire in over 20 years! I never seem to live where any are held. :( Someday I will go again.

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    1. Oh, I would be so bummed if ours didn't come here! If you ever are near one, be sure to go!

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  12. What a great List Post this one is! I think #7 is my favorite. I have gone to a couple of Renaissance Festivals but it has been a while. Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. Yep! Time for you to go to another one! Can I tag along?

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  13. I have never been to a Renaissance festival and now I really want to go to the one we have here. Damn it sounds like a lot of fun!

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    1. YES!!! PLEASE go! Take lots of pictures and let me know how you liked it!

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  15. Great post by Marcia Kester Doyle. Incredible talent and creative writer.

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    1. You are so kind and supportive! Thank you, Daniel!

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  16. Ahhhhh Marcia, this looks like so much more fun than English fairs. I wish I could go to one. It sounds HILARIOUS fun. And you get to be all beautiful with face paints.

    LOVING the minotaur...

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    1. One of these days Lizzi, you're going to have to hop across the pond and visit me! I'll take you to one of these festivals and I promise you that you will have THE BEST TIME!!!

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  17. You had me at "fried pickles", but you sealed the deal with "chocolate covered bacon on a stick". Not that I"m all about the food or anything.

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    1. OMG Karen, they are soooo good. And the bacon---wow! I never thought I'd find such good food at a ren-fest but it REALLY IS GOOD! Just very fattening…..every foodie's dream! Yum!

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  18. I would love to go to one but they are not something that happens here which sucks

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    1. That DOES suck! Sooo….are you up for a road trip?

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  19. I have been to One Renaissance festival, and had a great time! =)
    I enjoyed your post.

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    1. So happy you got to experience a festival and Im REALLY happy you enjoyed this post! Thanks for stopping by, Melissa!

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  20. I shall print this out and totally use it as ammo for why we need to go when the next one comes around-I believe the one in Des Moines area comes around in September! Sounds like an awesome time! :-)

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    1. OMG promise me you will go, Sarah!!! Just think of all the blog fodder you'll come up with!!

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  21. This sounds so amazing... How I wish we had something like this here. Enjoyed reading it.

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    1. Thank you, Rajlakshmi. Glad you liked it!

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  22. Sounds like my kind of event, Marcia. I've been to similar events here in the UK but not an outdoor festival. I recall attending a Jacobean banquet, where everyone dressed in keeping with the era. It's easy to adopt the role - I think at one point I shouted, 'Bring on the serving wenches; I feel like sinking my teeth into something juicy!' (Mrs Jones was non too pleased).

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    1. I love it!!! Oh, you would fit in very nicely with our local renaissance festival!

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  23. We almost made it to our local Renaissance Fair last year, but something happened last minute, I don't even remember what, and we still have never been!

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    1. Rosey, you HAVE to go next year!! Promise me!!!

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  24. Awesome costume, you sexy saucy wench! You don't have to sell me, I'm a huge Renn Fair nerd. I've worn costumes, not as good as yours and they don't fit me anymore, but I love any place you can walk around in costume, with a drink in one hand, a giant pickle in the other, eat turkey legs with NO flatwear and yell random olde timey English/pirate swears at strangers. I would go every day if I could, I would work there if I lived closer, I would open my own if I thought I could make it work! One of my favorite parts of ours is the booth called "Tomato Justice" in which there is an obnoxious man insulting everyone, his head and hands are poked through a board and you purchase tomatoes to throw at him. The jokes are almost always the same, but it's still awesome.

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    1. Tomato Justice is at the one here, too! Hilarious!

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  25. Well, fair Maiden Marcia, you look adorable and in your element there. The closest I've ever come to a Renaissance Fair is driving by The Bristol Renaissance Faire on the Illinois/Wisconsin border.

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    1. Next time pull over into the parking lot and GO TO THE FAIRE!!!!

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  26. Marcia, you rock! I love the Renaissance Fair, but haven't been in a couple of years. I must find out when the next one here is! Loved the Ren Porn (so true) and that had they had libations such as this back then, that there'd be less wars and more napping! HAHA. You look beyond adorable in your costume, and now, I really wish I had a slow roasted turkey leg. MM.

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    1. Thanks, Kristi! I always eat way too much when I go to the faire--the food is REALLY GOOD!!!!

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  27. I think the pictures are as eloquent as the words. I see many buxom wenches and only one bull.

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    1. There's lots of cute dudes in tights, I'm not gonna lie…...

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  28. We went to one a long time ago and had a great time! We also got the best Halloween costume there! Expensive but worth it...my daughter wore variations of it several times and I think we loaned it out too. :)

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    1. I believe it----the clothing IS expensive but usually very well made. I have bought several dresses over the years and they still look great!

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  29. You had me on Chocolate covered bacon on a stick. Holy POOP! xx

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  30. I have friends who do these events and always tell me I should go to a few.They sound like fun, plus the food and booze is a plus!

    You rock in your outfit sexy wench!

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    1. Awwww…thanks, Phil! You really should go to one---great drinks and food for sure. AND I'm betting you could rock a pair of tights and pirate boots, too, mi' lord!!!

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  32. Hi Marsha! I love Renaissance Fairs. Sadly the last time I went I got seriously dehydrated and joined a drunk Robin Hood look-alike under a tree. We both looked drunk. More mead!!

    Looks like you had a great time, and family too. It's great fun. I especially liked the log-tossing.
    Ceil

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    1. OMG Ceil, I know I shouldn't laugh but this comment just cracked me up! I think you need to write a funny post about your experience!

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  33. Food, drinks, and people watching would probably be all I need. I should probably make it to at least 2 in my life: One with the kids, where I act appropriate, and one with the hubs while the kids are at the sitter's, where I can act all inappropriate and have some of the libations? :)

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    1. Oh yes!! When our kids were young we took them along and behaved…..but when we went by ourselves….oh my!

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  34. Great Article. This Post is Enjoyable and Nice. Thank you very Much for Sharing.

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    1. Glad you liked it and thanks for stopping by!

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  35. Have not been to ours in this area in many, many years. Sounds like you guys have lots of fun each year. Enjoyed your '10.' Take care, Slu

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    1. Okay now Slu, you have to promise me you will take Donna the the faire next time it comes to town!!

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  36. I used to have a t-shirt that said, "All my men wear tights or they wear nothing at all"!

    Yeah yeah yeah you're preachin' to the choir here...I was in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism, Google it if you're a Rennie who'd like to do this year-round) for ten years as the world's wenchiest belly dancer ;) I should go back to a Ren Faire soon where the men don't mind cleavage and don't get the vapours if you flirt with them utilizing said cleavage (the men are a delicate breed in Toronto :)

    I think the standard carnival food you get at these things is waaaay better than the REAL medieval stuff, which I've had way too much of - bland, tasteless, etc. as many herbs and cooking styles hadn't been discovered or innovated yet.

    Tomatoes? Poisonous for you? Honestly. Go fork yourselves, medievalists!!! :)

    Marcia, when I come to visit you some day we have to work a Ren Faire into the itinerary!!! Between the two of us we can send every man on the grounds home in an incoherent stupour!!! ;)

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    1. I bet I would have one of THE best times of my life if I went with you to Ren-Fest.

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  37. You had me at stout and people watching. Here from the Hook Up. Cheers!

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    1. The stout is awesome and the people watching is….entertaining!

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