I regret to say that I missed the Medieval Fair this year (why isn’t that spelled the way it sounds? Hooked on phonics is not working for me). I really wanted to go but Harry came down with a wicked head cold on Friday and I would not be a good mommy if I carted a sick baby through the wind, heat and dust. I could have left him home with Dear Husband and taken Addison but my mom was here this weekend and the timing never worked out. Plus we had a skate birthday party to go to on Sunday afternoon and Addison had to get his skate on.
I’m not going to let the fact that I missed out on the festivities stop me from writing about why I love it so much.
First of all there is no better place for people watching. The craziest of the crazies come out of the woodwork. I’m not just talking about the vendors and shopkeepers (although the fact that these people make a life of going around from one renaissance festival to the next is amazing to me). I’m talking the “normal” everyday people who put together elaborate costumes and walk around saying “hazzah” and “ye ol’ (enter noun here)”. Side note about the costume selection…are pirates and belly dancers considered medieval? I’m not sure but I’ll take it and the potpourri of other character options.
Here is my theory regarding renaissance costumes:
Deep, deep down every normal, mild mannered woman wants a chance to slut it up. I don’t mean sleep around or show your boobs on Bourbon St. slut. I mean wearing a costume that lets the cleavage (or belly) hang out and it’s perfectly okay for the day. There are only two days out of the year that this is possible and still maintain your dignity: Halloween and Medieval Fair. Any more than that and you might be labeled as a…well, a slutty dresser.
A side note regarding Halloween. If you are going to slut it up please do so at an adult only party. Don’t be the mom who shows up to the school carnival in a french maid costume. All the little boys will be staring and your child will be scarred for life.
Back to the topic at hand. Slutin’ it up at the Medieval fair.
Right now you’re probably saying to yourself; “This is creepy. Why does she have pictures of medieval boobies?”. Please let me explain. A number of years ago we went to a Renaissance festival in LA. and this festival was HUGE. I mean it made our little fair w/ an average of 300,000 attendees look like a Shriner carnival. This is where my “slut it up” theory started to take shape. Dear Husband and his friend decided to have a little contest: who could descreatly get the most pictures of extreme cleavage. There were corsets everywhere you turned and you couldn’t stop staring so why not make a game of it. This is just a small sampling of what they came back with. Let me just add in Dear Husband’s defense that he and his friend are not sickos. This is just an example of their humor when they get together and the silly games they play.
Another reason I like the Medieval fair…the fun is unique and creative. This is way better than the circus or carnival that blows through town every so often. Two years ago Addison rode something that was the equivalent to a spinning swing ride at the carnival but it was powered by two guys (dressed in pirate gear) turning a giant crank. We also enjoy the camel ride. As we wait in line I start to feel sad for this poor animal but then I wonder…which is worse…traversing the Sahara in 120 degree heat and a sand storm or being led around a grassy pin with little kids on your back and breaks for water. I would take the later.
Let’s talk turkey legs. They are huge, dry and not all that good but you can’t help but chuckle when you see someone try to bite into it. I wonder what happened to the rest of the bird. Please tell me that it went to good use and soup kitchens around the country are enjoying Thanksgiving dinner in the middle of spring thanks to the local fair.
There are 101 reasons to love the Renaissance/Medieval fair (parking and crowds not being a part of that list). Next time one rolls into your town embrace it for what it is and go wild. You never know, you may find yourself buying a corset just for the occasion.