Since moving to Arizona, we've lived less than an hour away from the famous Renaissance Festival, but have never gone. Tickets are a little pricey. But when Chad got complimentary tickets from work, we figured we'd better not let them go to waste.
The grounds and buildings are really neat, and there are vendors everywhere. The festival is definitely designed to get you to buy as many "renaissance" souvenirs as humanly possible. And plenty of other things that have nothing to do with the renaissance period. We watched a clown who juggled hats and fire, then begged for donations afterwards. Nice touch. It actually authenticated the act even further. There were costumed workers roaming around, some dancing or singing, or playing musical instruments. We chowed on bratwurst, baked potatoes, and corn on the cob.
But my favorite part was the tournament. It's no Medieval Times, but it was still fun. First we met the knight we were to cheer for: the limp-wristed Eduardo de la Something-or-Other from Spain.
This is Bree having fun:
After watching the knights hit a target, then put their lances through rings, we got to the main joust. The "defeated" knights were hilarious--dropping their shields after being hit, and then falling off their horses.
Then we wandered over to the glass-blowing demonstration, which we all felt should have been more entertaining, and less like a college lecture. Oh well. Nothing a little hat shopping won't cure.
And I don't know what the deal is with getting my kids to look at the camera!
And I still don't quite know what this character's schtick was supposed to be.
Even after a few questions related to the big metal ball and chain, and the circle drawn in the sand next to him (there was a stuffed animal in the middle of the circle and a "Scotsman" in a kilt standing nearby), I was still confused. I think he was might have been drunk. So naturally I pushed my kids forward to snap a picture with him.
All in all, it was a good experience. And now that we've been, we can cross Renaissance Festival off my wish list.