We had a wonderful time at the Renaissance Festival yesterday! I took tons of pictures, too many for one post, so I selected the best of them and separated them into two categories: The Festival and My Family at the Festival.
In today's post I'm sharing scenes from the festival itself to provide a feel for the fun atmosphere we enjoyed so much. Tomorrow I'll post the pictures of us and our activities, so stay tuned!
The village has really grown and become more permanent in nature. Although it's basically laid out in a circle, we still kept getting lost and needed to consult our map often. The wooden fences and small structures have been replaced by stuccoed walls and large buildings like these.
Members of the court showed up here and there to perform their royal activities for our entertainment. Here, the queen (middle lady) and a noblewoman (on left) play a medieval game called "King of the Log." A lady-in-waiting supported the queen from behind, while a harrassed page found himself caught in the middle as the queen and noblewoman tried to knock each other off the log with stuffed sacks.
It was humorous, especially when the noblewoman found herself on her back in the hay, with her feet and petticoats in the air.
This young man was a wandering entertainer who did something called "contact juggling." He rolled this ball all over his body, up and down his arms, across his neck and back, over the tips of his fingers. It was like a ball of liquid flowing effortlessly at his command.
Dylan was quite taken with this performing art. We'll be looking it up online and ordering the acrylic ball so he can learn contact juggling himself.
The joust is clearly the most popular event of the day, packing the stadium for performances at 11:00, 2:30, and 5:00. We attended the 2:30 and 5:00 events. Here, the King and Queen greet their royal subjects and officially begin the joust.
My friend Wyndie, her husband, and their three sons decided to attend the festival the same day we did. Although our families arrived at the festival within 10 minutes of each other, we never ran into each other until the 2:30 joust. My sharp-eyed sons saw them in the front row of this section of the stadium, so we got to visit briefly. (They are sitting in roughly the center of the front row in this photo.)
The jousting begins!
We sat in the same section as we did 9 years ago and once again we cheered for our champion, the villain Sir Moric. Yes, he was evil, but egads, he was gorgeous!
The three jousting events are part of an unfolding tale. In the morning event (which we did not attend), there is some insult to the queen's honor, which leads to the 2:30 joust. I'd planned to see just the one performance, but when it ended in treachery and the promise of a "joust to the death" at 5:00, Sarah and Emmi insisted we had to attend the final event so they could see who emerged victorious. They both were a little bit in love with Sir Moric, I think!
We found this fellow on our way out. He stood on this pedestal, still as a statue while people gathered around him. Then he would suddenly begin to move like a mechanical doll, making a high-pitched whine like gears moving. The children were especially fascinated by him, but we were all transfixed for at least 10 minutes!
The festival was supposed to end at 6:00, but it was 6:45 when we finally left the grounds. The crowds had thinned by then, but everything was still open. We were tired but happy when we finally returned home at 9:45 last night. We all agreed: the Renaissance Festival is a good time!