Sunday, November 8, 2009

Carolina Renaissance Festival

Well, I said we'd do it and we did! Saturday, Teresa and I took off to Charlotte for the Carolina Renaissance Festival. We had the joy of meeting up with Beth and Jonathan, friends from college, and their two year old son, Julian, who we had never met and were thrilled to get the chance to see. We arrived at the fair grounds a little ahead of them, and went inside.

First of all, it was remarkably similar to the fair in Maryland. The buildings were the same, and the signs all looked familiar. Many of the souvenirs and other things were identical to ones found at the other fair. It makes sense when I think about it, that people who make and sell these things would find similar venues for them. The scale of the Carolina festival was a little smaller. There was still plenty to see and do, but you didn't have to walk quite as far to see and do it. We got there shortly after it opened so there weren't too many people at the festival yet.

Our friends showed up soon after we got there and we took our time going from place to place. It was really wonderful to see Julian rushing from place to place, and Jonathan following closely behind as they took in all the sights. We somehow ended up near a stage where they were doing a falconry show, which turned out to be really cool. The birds would fly out over the audience, really low, from perch to perch.
Teresa and I did not wear any renaissance clothing this time, but there were plenty of people that did. Sometimes it's hard to tell if they work at the festival or if they're just attending! After taking this next picture, the group of people started to do a dance. The formal kind you see in things like Pride and Prejudice.

Further on was a place where there were several Greyhounds just lounging about for people to come up and pet. I can't remember the name of the place now, nor what the dogs were there for, or where they came from, if they were rescued racers or what, but they were sweet dogs, and Teresa loved them.
We continued to take a look at everything as we made our way to the food area. I ended up with another turkey leg, and man, was that thing huge and tasty. Better than the one from Maryland for sure. I don't know what the difference was, but I know I liked it better. We found a play ground for the kids where we ate, and Julian played. After lunch we continued on down to the petting zoo where there were goats, a highland cow, and elephant and camel rides. Then it came time for the joust.

This was our knight. There were three in total, and two of them were heralded as being evil, and this one, ours, was the good one. He also looked very young. At a point in the show where our knight had won a skill trial, he was given a crown of flowers to give out to someone as princess of the joust, and he gave it to a little girl. One of the evil knights commended him... for picking a princess older than he was.

This joust was a bit different from the one Maryland. At that one, they competed for points and in the end, a winner was selected. At this joust, they did more play acting, falling off their horses and culminating in a challenge to a Joust to the Death, which was to happen at the next joust that day. It was entertaining, and I would have liked to see the next joust, but it was getting too late at that point. All the more reason to return!

On the way out of the park, we took the obligatory heads on picture, picture. Look at us! We're King and Queen!
But then there was one other thing near the exit to the park . The goose holding booth. For some reason, this was very cool. And all it is are some very well trained geese. And what they're trained to do is sit in your lap. I did it earlier in the day, and Teresa was a little bit timid. But by the end of the day, she was ready to hold a goose. This is Teresa and Mimi.
It was a great day, and I'd definitely do it again. It wasn't just the fair either, but the chance to see our friends again. Our friends who, it turns out, only live a couple hours a way, so we have no excuse for waiting another five years to see them again. The next festival in North Carolina is in April, but there may be one in Georgia before that. I'll have to start doing some more research!

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