Monday, November 29, 2010

Renaissance Fair Weekend

Lana and I went to the local Renaissance Fair yesterday, and the weather was gorgeous. The Fair is held outside Hammond, Louisiana, out in the woods. We attended the jousting and the “Birds of Prey” demonstration. Lana got some great bird photos and put some up over at her blog. We also watched a few of the comedy shows and browsed the shops. Other than food and drinks, we only bought one thing this year, a wind driven item for our deck. I admired the leather tankards but at 95 bucks a piece I decided to pass. I already have a drinking horn from a previous year.

Last year they didn’t hold the jousting on the day we went because it had rained so much the field was a lake of mud. I was glad to see it this year, and, besides being hilarious, our knight won! Well, his name was “Victor” after all.

The birds of prey demonstration was awesome, as it has been every time I’ve seen it. I even ran into a few old friends, including Stephan, who looked the part of a wandering Celt. Lana and I did not really dress up, although I wore my leather hat and the long coat you see me sporting in my profile pic. I felt a bit like a time traveller from the 1880s. I did admire the costumes though, including swordsmen and travelling minstrels and a host of either elves or Vulcans. It’s the ears, you know. And I always pick up interesting tidbits of renaissance lore, including this year a lesson in the types of siege weapons used in medieval times.

If you’ve never been to a Ren Fair, then get ye olde self to the next one you hear about. They’re well worth the tickets and the trip. Eat, Drink and be Merry. For tomorrow we return to the real world.
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34 comments:

David J. West said...

I have meant to make it for years to one-I'll have to get to one soon.

Glad you guys had a good time.

Paul R. McNamee said...

As I just posted on Lana's blog - that's the same falconing group that comes to the Topsfield Fair in October up here!

It's a farm fair, though, so the falconers don't dress in Ren garb.

There is one Ren Fair in my area. The season is much shorter than you get down south. Our fair only lasts a few weeks between Labor Day and Columbus Day.

For that fair, though, it's not the birds of prey (nor, frankly, the busty Ren wenches) but the big cat show (including a liger) that draws me.

Charles Gramlich said...

David, you should, man. Great stuff.

Paul, no tigers at our fair, to my disappointment. But I love the whole talk the birders give about the history of falconry.

Paul R. McNamee said...

Yes, they have lots of good information. I am surprised how different Harris Hawks are. They stand on each other's shoulders for better views, and hunt in packs like wolves of the sky. Neat stuff.

the walking man said...

I am considering shape shifting into a raptor to fly the night skies.

Charles Gramlich said...

Paul, it was so cool to see the Harris hawks on the ground too. THey move pretty good for winged creatures.

Mark, I'd rather shape shift in to a Pterosaur.

Ron Scheer said...

Haven't been to one of these since the 1960s. Sounds like a mash-up of medieval and Renaissance. Without the Black Plague...

The Golden Eagle said...

I've never been to a Ren Fair/Fest, but they sound like a lot of fun.

Glad you had a good time!

Mary Witzl said...

Wow -- you have a drinking horn? I've always wondered how you get those clean, but I'm guessing they're mainly for decoration.

I love renaissance fairs. Sadly, they don't have a lot of them in our area.

BernardL said...

It's good the jousting field was dry. Congrats 'Victor'. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I went to one many years ago and don't remember much, but I've seen several bird of prey demonstrations and they are awesome!

Charles Gramlich said...

Ron Scheer, and with more modern bathrooms and Budweiser. :)

The Golden Eagle, it's worth trying out for the experience. Lots of intersting sights if nothing else.

Mary Witzl, I have drunk from mine and washed it with Soap and water, although I figure alcohol should kill most germs anyway right?

BernardL, especially since the knights did quite a lot of rolling around in the dirt.

Alex J. Cavanaugh, definitely.

Steve Malley said...

We had a great RenFest in Minnesota, out in SHakopee. New Zealand, not so much. I mean, yeah, the SCA guys like to dress up and whack each other, but they're not serving turkey legs or mead! :)

Akasha Savage. said...

Sounds like you had a good day. I always try to go to these kind of events: I love watching jousting and bird of preys exhibitions. We went to a local Fair back in the summer, it was great fun.

Charles Gramlich said...

Steve Malley. mymmm, turkey legs. They had nice ones at this fair. I didn't have any mead though.

Akasha, they are definitely a lot of fun. The birds are so beautiful.

Lana Gramlich said...

I'm glad we went--it was a good time & I like our new deck ornament (I hung it today.)

pattinase (abbott) said...

So funny that ours is in August and yours in November. Do we really live in the same country?

Carole said...

I have never been to a Ren fair, although I have seen them on TV. I thought they were actually fiction. I shall have to watch and see if they have one in the St. Louis area.

jodi said...

Charles, sounds like fun! We have a large Ren Fair here and I am sad to say I have never been. I am envious of your fine weather!!

Cloudia said...

Ye Fun!




Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

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Travis Cody said...

I used to go to one in the SF Bay Area. The sword fighting event was always a favorite.

Ty Johnston said...

For years I did the period clothing thing (not costumes ... costumes don't cost more than the price of a car) at the Ohio Renaissance Festival. Actually, two sets of clothing, depending upon the weather. Light peasant garb for hot days, cloaked officer carrying a schiavona and wearing leathers for warm days.

'Course that's been ten years ago. Doubt I'd fit into the garb today.

laughingwolf said...

glad you enjoyed... none in my area :(

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana Gramlich, cool. I'll have to see it when I get home.

pattinase, some of the Ren fair people travel around to a lot of different ones so maybe they stagger them. August would be hot for this though.

Carole, oh no, not fiction. It's kind of like an outdoors SF convention, with jousting.

jodi, you should definitely give it a go. I bet you'd have fun. Take Michelle with you.

Cloudia, a good time was had by all.

Travis Cody, I've seen some pretty good staged fights for sure. And I get into that with my love of sword and sorcery fiction.

Ty Johnston, I only admire the garb from a distance for the most part. I imagine at least that the armor is a bit lighter today than it was back in the real day.

laughingwolf, too bad, man. Maybe one will come at some point.

Stewart Sternberg said...

I am always amazed by the fair, sometimes saddened when attendees and merchants have such a strange and distorted sense of history, but always entertained. George Romero did a wonderful film about a group of motorcycle riding knights who run with the ren fairs.

Heff said...

NO PIX ?!?!?

Damnit, I was expecting a "Scott Hall" type of post, here !!!

Charles Gramlich said...

Stewart, George Romero and wonderful film do not seem like they belong in the same sentence, but that film does sound kind of interesting.

Heff, Lana took pics and put them up on her blog, but they were all of birds of prey!

L.A. Mitchell said...

I went to Medieval Times this past week. I think we had the same experience :) Sadly, my yellow knight was the only one who didn't look like a romance novel hero. Oh, and we need a picture of you drinking from the horn

Erik Donald France said...

Sounds very cool. The raptors are something, and falconers. Jousting is a wild thing!

X. Dell said...

(1) Those Vulcan elves are the worst.

(2) You know, I can actually picure you with a drinking horn:-)

Jodi MacArthur said...

Yuo two are such a cool couple. What a fun thing to attend. I loved Lana's bird pics!

Ocean Girl said...

We don't have fair like that around here. Leather hat and long coat! Cool.

Thank you Charles for your welcoming comment. It is really nice to be able to visit Razored Zen again.

ivan said...

For those of us in Toronto who don't want to get out of town at a fairly close open air park for some real medieval jousting and horseplay, we have this Merrie England restaurant in the city. It offers a nice night out, it has a Kynge and a Queene , a ceremony, pageantry with lots of horns and audience involvement, middle-English skits by actors and, finally, dinner theatre.

It's called the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament.

Reviews:
"I prefer to keep things short." ... "Parking is a bit pricey." ... "I was able to save a bunch of money buy purchasing tickets on expedia." ... "We were quite full, and found the meal to be flavourful and enjoyable." ... "Enchanting! Loved the show." ... "Honestly? It's really lame."tripadvisor.com

Ah well. Sometimes a knight out ain't all he's cracked up to be.

Charles Gramlich said...

L.A. Mitchell, I'll have to get on that picture right away. :)

Erik Donald France, the jousters had a lot of fun, and we with them.

X. Dell, indeed, as Spock would say. I like my horn, but I need a stand for it. I didn't see one this year.

Jodi MacArthur, Lana's cool and I bask in her reflected coolness. :)

Ocean Girl, I actually bought my leather hat in the French Quarter about 15 years ago now. Have got quite a lot of wear out of it. good to see you around again.

ivan, I've been to one of those kinds of restruants. They also are a lot of fun.