Sunday, September 22, 2013

#79 - Hither to the Renaissance!

I used to make a point of going to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival every year.  However, it's been harder to get there since I moved a five hour drive away.  I realized at the end of this summer that a huge (for me) gap of seven years had gone by since I last got my fix of Festival!

I was so impressed by this tortoise.  He was moving along at quite a pace every time I saw him.  Where was he so determined to go?
There have been a lot of changes since my last visit.  Some expected ... food prices have doubled. Some sad ... no combat chess this year.  Some unexpected ... many of the artisan booths that I remember being there for years have left.  Quite a few have been replaced by more food and wine booths.  I wish that they would have been able to get new artisans to replace ALL of the old ones.   The festival also offers many more activities for children than they did in the past; however, I didn't see a change in the proportion of children to adults in the crowd.  Kids could take short rides in the jousting ring between meets (the horses didn't seem thrilled by this change).  Basically, things are becoming less quirky and more commercial.
The joust master lets people greet his horse.

There were still many things I love there.  My favorite mind picture of the day (I couldn't get my camera out quickly enough) is of a little girl in a pink princess dress and sparkly sunglasses twirling around until she got dizzy in a small patch of grass. The artisans were friendly even though they had been out there for several weekends and had to be tired of it.  One of the glass workers even made a custom piece on the spot for my sister.  The Wacky Chickens can still amuse the crowd with whistles, clucks and no real words ... true showmanship to get the crowd involved with no speech cues.  And, my favorite magicians were still at the riddle booth challenging the wits of the crowd.  I have to apologize to Janet since I think we stayed there about three riddles past when she was ready to leave.
Glass worker at Raven's Glass makes a custom piece on the spot

And, there were a few new finds as well.  I hadn't been fairy dusted before: warning to those who may want to try this:  lots of glitter was involved!  We found a fabulous new product - bodice warmers/coolers!  And, I think that HoneyStix may be my new go-to, low calorie snack.

Overall, I had a good time and hope to do it again next year.

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