From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tennessee Renaissance Festival, 2008

A day at Tenn-Ren



The kids and I went to the Tennessee Renaissance Festival on Sunday (Mother's Day.) It was a damp, dark day with temperatures in the high 50s and a very strong wind.

I spent most of my free time last week sewing costumes for this event. I made a new dress for myself and a monk's robe for Dennis (who later decided not to go.) Keely did a lot of sewing over the last month, too. She made her outfit and the kilt that Taurus wore, as well as several outfits for friends who are going to the Ren Fest on another weekend.

It was so chilly on Sunday that I was glad for my double layer of long skirts, and I wished I had brought my cloak as well! Due to the weather, the festival was not at all crowded. The merchants probably weren't happy about it, but it was nice to have no line at the lunch counter.

I recently learned that someone who dresses for Renaissance fairs is called a "playtron" (rhymes with "patron.") Here's the definition from the Double-Tongued Dictionary

playtron
n. an observer or vistor at a Renaissance fair or festival who wears a costume suited for the time period.


At Tenn-Ren, many of the playtrons dress in fantasy costumes or add fantasy elements to their Renaissance costumes. I always enjoy seeing what everyone is wearing. Here are some of the photos I took.

Taurus, helping Keely straighten out her laces
The front gate of the Fair
The wood pixies (I'll bet they were cold!)

Renaissance garb for sale
This lady was an older, but avid playtron.
Some wear their "mundane" clothing. (In SCA speak, "mundane" means "modern.")

A lady merchant who surely was shivering!
Looney Lucy, one of the Tenn-Ren professionals
Coats of arms and foam swords

Glass-working with a hot torch
A belt I admired
More garb for sale

Isaac bought a "man-in-the-moon" necklace here.
More whimsies inside -- magical mushrooms
The rag lady --another Tenn-Ren pro

Fantasy costumes are common at Tenn-Ren.
Isaac enjoyed the monk robe that I sewed for Dennis
Members of the court

The Queen of the Faire visiting the market
A troubadour serenades a lady and her husband.
A beautiful little yellow fairy

Watching this dancer spin in circles nearly made me dizzy.
The apprentice belly dancer cracked everyone up.
The final impassioned sashay of the apprentice

A falconer poses with fairgoers (as Keely and Taurus approach)
The court bows as the queen enters.
A game of human chess
The big, bad wolf
and his tail

Related Prairie Bluestem posts:
Tennessee Renaissance Festival 2007
Tennessee Renaissance Festival

2 comments:

Kimberly said...

My Lady, I am so very pleased at you and your families enjoyment of our festival. And thank you for sharing and posting the photos. It is wonderful seeing and experiencing the festival through other peoples eyes.

I hope to see all of you the May.
Kimberly
Queen Elizabeth I

Genevieve said...

Your Majesty, I am immensely honored that you've visited my humble blog. Thank you for always being very gracious when I have photographed you and your court.

We are definitely planning to attend Tenn-Renn this year. It is one of the highlights of spring. I need to start thinking about what I will wear! :)

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