Friday, May 25, 2012

Tennessee Renaissance Festival 2012

Fun at the Renn Faire, May 19, 2012

When we arrived at the "Tenn-Renn" grounds, we were surprised at the number of people lined up and waiting to enter the festival. We had to climb uphill from our parking place to reach the back of the line. But the line moved quickly, and we reached the ticket booth in about ten minutes.

Looking downhill to the ticket stand
Looking uphill at the line behind us

Inside the gates, we joined other faire-goers in the market place. Merchants were selling all sorts of Renaissance-themed goods, services, and foods from tents and stands.

The market

Circlets for both ladies and gents

Shiny things

Fortune telling

The spirals in the photo below are hair ornaments. What? No cash? Most merchants will accept credit cards, as the sign notes. The bottom line reads, "Old World Discover."

The first show we attended was Paolo Garbanzo's excellent juggling exhibition. The first photo below shows him juggling an apple, orange, and onion, and taking a bite of apple every time it came around. He also juggled his "mostly-sharp knives" and various other objects. In the grand finale, he balanced on the "ball of death,", while juggling a "knife of death," a "torch of death," and the "onion of death." I do believe he finally ate some of the onion as well. It was quite an entertaining show.

Isaac and Rachel went to the jousting tournament and took these photos of the knights and horses. The checkerboard design at the front of the grassy area is used by the Members of the Court when they play Human Chess.

I always enjoy seeing the costumes at the Renn Faire. The best-dressed characters are usually members of the troupe of professional actors who work at the Faire. But some of the patrons of the Faire have outstanding costumes as well. Sometimes, it's impossible to guess whether the costumee (yes, I invented that word)  is a worker or a guest.


A great fairy costume

Dwarf ladies are bearded, just like the men.

The woodland creatures and the ogre who posed with Rachel were professionals, as was the brightly dressed wench playing with the pebbles. With the temperature in the low 90s, it probably felt good to sit on the cool earth. I hope she was wearing some chigger repellant!


Oh my, the hat shop! It exerted a powerful magnetic force! When Isaac walked away, one of the hats stuck to him.

A group of guys in kilts was having lunch. Maybe they belong to a Scottish organization. Keely commented that kilts are the shorts of Renaissance Festival garb -- cool and airy. I was so hot in my own get-up that I observed every costume with considerable interest in how hot it might be to wear it. I decided that one advantage of a hooped skirt is that it does hold the fabric away from the body.

Obviously cool


Hot, but very cool!

It was Pirate Weekend at the Renaissance Festival, so there were several Jack Sparrow sorts in the crowd. This fellow was one of the most authentic. First we saw him walking by. Then, he stopped in the shade near where we were sitting, so I asked to take his picture. Afterward, I realized that I should have invited the executioner to step up and be in the photo, too!

I believe that some of the games like "Catapulting Critters" were free for the youngsters to play.

Hammer in action

So cute!

The Queen and her attendants were graciously posing for photographs with people. The Queen seems to like children, and she's always very careful to avoid frightening the little ones. I admire her ability to look and play her part with royal flair!

Fortunately the queen stopped in the shade, because she was there for a while!

The Queen meets a small patron.

At the Oops Comedy Knife-Throwing Show, one lucky lady was "volunteered" to come on stage and have tricks done around her. Preceding this photo, there was a lot of talk about how fast the pins would fly by her, whacka, whacka. Everyone (including the victim) got a good laugh when the two performers trotted past her, waving the pins instead of throwing them.

The only food I bought at the Renn Faire this year was some kettle-popped corn, but I made up for it by buying plenty of drinks. 24-ounce bottles of ice-cold water were $2.00 each, and I was more than happy to pay that price!

Rachel with a turkey leg

Isaac and Rachel

Keely, Isaac, and me

Later in the afternoon, the sun went under a cloud. That was fortuitous, because it was time to go to the Birds of the Gauntlet show at the arena. If you ever go to the Renn Faire, try to see this show! The birds are beautiful, and it's very interesting to see how they are trained and to hear about the lives of their species. Some of the birds in the show were rescued and rehabilitated after an injury, but were unable to return to the wild. I am not sure about the parrot -- he may have been an unwanted pet. The lady talked about how parrots are often bought by people who are unprepared for their natural tendencies.

Every year as we leave the faire, we say, "One of these times, we have to take the castle tour."  Well -- maybe next year we'll finally do it! If you enjoyed these photos, you can see photos from six more Renaissance Festivals under the label "Tenn-Renn".


Collagemama said...

Sounds just like Scarborough Faire south of Dallas, but we have fire ants to go with the chiggers. You put a lot of work into your costumes!

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

Wow, looks like you all had a really great time! Wonderful pictures (as always). :)

Keely did an awesome job on all your outfits. She is so talented.

The pics of Isaac and Rachel make me smile. They are so cute together. Ahh to be that young again....

Love reading your blog! Thank you for the post, it was almost like being there...well, you know, without the heat and all. :)

Genevieve said...

Keely made her outfit and Rachel's and Isaac's outfits. I made mine, and I want to mention that it had 8 (eight!) gores in the lower skirt! (Unfortunately they don't really show in this picture.) I thought I would never get done with it.

Collagemama, I am sure that Tenn-Renn is very similar to your Scarborough Faire. And as for the fire ants, you can keep them in Texas!

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