Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Renn Fair Recap

I've posted pictures of last weekend's Maryland Renaissance Fair to Facebook already, but if you haven't seen them, take a look here.

It was a lot of fun. Would do again. Will do again. In fact, I may even do it soon since I found out there is a fair only a couple hours away from here near Charlotte, NC. Teresa had fun too, at least she tells me she had fun. Our hostess made us outfits, so Teresa got a medieval style dress, and I wore a black tunic. Teresa said it reminded her of dressing up for dance performances. She even had an awesome tiara to go with her outfit. I wore my Red Sox hat. Go 16th century Sox!

We stayed with friends in Arlington, Virginia. Friends who we had never met before. Wait.. what? Yeah, let me expand on that. Teresa and I spend a lot of our entertainment and free time playing an online video game. You may have heard of it. It's called World of Warcraft. I'm pretty sure that's not a secret, so I have no problems talking about it, but I won't bore all of you, my friends and family, with the details because I'm smart enough to know that you don't want me to ramble on about the game, and why I play it. Besides, I have another blog for that.

Well as you might imagine, a lot of people that we play this game with are into the whole Fantasy, Sci-fi, comics sub culture and would enjoy things like Renn fairs. Over the last couple of years of playing, we've gotten to know some of the people pretty well in the game. We're part of a guild, which is just a collection of players in an official group. The guild's name is Veritas. So the people we met up with in VA, are people from our guild. After more than a year of talking and playing together online, we finally met face to face. And it was great. Everyone was just as nice as they are online and very gracious hosts. We even had a guy come all the way from Puerto Rico with his wife just to visit and go to Renn Fair. Whoa!

Okay, so we all got matching tabards, again made by our hostess. The tabards mirror similar tabards that our characters in game wear, so it's a nice little homage to the game. That's the red thing with the flame on it that you see in all the pictures.

Enough about the guild, more about the fair! The first thing I wanted to do when we got there was watch them joust, but that wasn't happening for another hour, so we made our way to where they were selling turkey legs and got ourselves lunch. Teresa wasn't so much into the turkey legs so she had baked potato. The turkey was good. We looked around for a bit more before making our way to the joust. The knights wore actual plate armor and were assisted by squires as they performed feats of skill such as hooking a ring off a post on their swords without touching the post. Then they had some mock battles where they beat on each other with wooden swords. Finally, at the end, they did full on jousting. They didn't knock anyone off their horse, but they broke a lot of lances. Very cool to see up close.

From there we saw the sights. Lots of artisans selling hand made clothing and weapons and cups and pouches and trinkets. I wanted to buy a handcrafted wooden cup but they were pretty expensive. Maybe next year. There were quite a few people very elaborately dressed from different time periods. There were pirates, and wenches, and Robin Hoods, and faeries, and all manor of different medieval style dress. There was also a fair number of pot bellied men walking around in kilts with no shirts, and women with really tight corsets. I'll leave it at that.

We tried Meade, which is a honey wine. It was okay to try, but I don't like wine all that much, so I don't think it's something I would have regularly. Still, I can say I've had mead, and that's worth it. We visited with our friends, saw some more booths and watched part of a stage show where they were calling people up on stage to act out the story of the three little pigs. It was pretty humorous. I think it was mostly improv by the stage actors, so that's always fun.

Several people asked us about the matching tabards, and a lot of them were familiar with the game if the didn't outright play it. We met an older couple right before we left the fair who had all sorts of stories to tell of the game and what they play in it once they found out we were in a guild. They were a riot. We think the man may have had a bit too much mead...

Towards the end of the day when everyone was getting tired, we congregated around a table and just visited. I tried ye olde milk and cookies. They were good. They sell just about everything you can imagine on a stick. Chocolate cheesecake on a stick. Fried Macaroni and Cheese on a stick. Steak on a stake. Lots more I can't remember right now, and a lot I wanted to try but didn't have the stomach to. It was all fairly pricey, but that comes with the territory.

I think I could easily go to these things often if I had the time and the money. It would be fun to build a nice outfit piece by piece until you had something really cool. I think I'd go for a more rustic, robin hood type thing than a royal Renaissance look, with leather pouches and a sword and bow. Oh, weapons weren't allowed in the fair, not even play weapons, unless they were bought there, so I didn't bother bringing the sword I actually owned, but it would be cool to include that somehow.

The fair I mentioned that's in Charlotte runs through November. I'm thinking we might be able to get out for a day and go with Teresa's family or friends in the area. We'll see. Oh yes, we'll see.


Beth said...

Teddy and T,
I was totally serious about meeting you in Charlotte. My sister and her fam live there now. Seriously. Let's pick a date.

*~Jen~* said...

I am teh jealoussauce.