Arizona Renaissance Festival – Pic Heavy

by Steve Mitchell

Okay, so.  Yesterday, my family and I didn’t really time travel to the past.

Instead, we went to the Arizona Renaissance Festival.

We had a pretty nice time.

I don’t know quite how to describe the festival.  It’s dusty and crowded and a bit overwhelming.

And it’s not, especially, historically accurate.  The overall look is a romantic medley of medieval royalty and peasantry and faeries and pirates and Cavaliers and nomads and time travelers and ravers and barbarians and …. tourists.

There were plenty of other kilts, mostly on pirates and craftsman working the fair, but also on attendees.  Some of the kilt wearers, I could tell, used the fair as an excuse to go full Brigadoon.  Others, myself included, simply wore a kilt with tee shirts or regular street clothes.

Surprisingly, considering the captive crowd, the food was reasonably priced, as were many of the craft items for sale.  It was refreshing to see.

Less refreshing was the constant, faux British, street-performeresque, bawdy bids for attention.  From the first minute, we were bombarded with mugging, interactive performers and  ware-hawkers with loud, loud voices trying to make us laugh or pay attention or buy something.  Luckily, it tapered off as the crowds grew and the day wore on.

I enjoyed some of the shows, but others I avoided because they required too much audience participation and I have no stomach for shows which require audience participation.

Anyhow.

I took a roughly a million and a half photos, but I won’t subject you to all of them.  I’ll just subject you to a large handful.

Here’s the front entrance:

renentrance

front entrance

That was the King and Queen and the Royal Court up there waving to the entering crowd.

It was a warm and very sunny day, so Lucie bought a parasol.  She got the last one with the Dia de los muertos theme.

rensweetie

She’s more radiant than the sun.

 

Here’s me holding the parasol for a moment.

renkilt

At the Renaissance Festival, no one looks twice at a man in a kilt with a parasol …

 

Here’s Cos, my older son, with some sort of barbarian.  He wanted a picture of her headdress to show an artist friend of his.

Barbarian Showgirl

Barbarian Showgirl

I don’t have a good photo of Alec.  He and one of his classmates ran off with their 14 year-old selves to have adventures most of the day.

Here’s more photos.

Musicians out and about:

renmusic

That little harpsichord sounded pretty good.

I honestly don't remember what they were playing ...

I honestly don’t remember what they were playing … it wasn’t Greensleeves. 

 

From some of the shows:

London Broil (the name of the juggling group)  They were pretty fun.

London Broil (the name of the juggling group) They were fun.

Ded Bob is an Arizona Renaissance Festival institution.

Ded Bob is an Arizona Renaissance Festival institution.

That whip sounded like gunshots when it cracked!

That whip sounded like gunshots when it cracked!

Tartanic, bagpipe music with an awesome, thumping beat.

Tartanic, bagpipe music with an awesome, thumping beat.

The juggler Cale, with a C.

The juggler Cale, with a C.

 

And, finally, more photos out and about:

Photobomb!

With my Sweetie.  Photobomb!

 

That dog cleaned up.

That dog cleaned up.

Another giant.

Another giant.

Medieval food court ...

Medieval food court …

They love them some tankards ...

They do love them some tankards …

Human powered rides.

Human powered rides.

A fashion class.

A fashion class.

Living statue.

Living statue.

Mythical.

Mythical.

As we exited the festival.  Our ride back to the present?

Our ride back to the present?

 

 

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