Well gosh, that's fun to say! I'll say it again, Forsooth!
We have time traveled back to the year 878. The vikings are poised and ready to not only attack and raid Great Britain, but this time to eventually settle on the island. So it's the Saxons versus the Vikings. Sounds like a strange football game. Oddly, our car (the apparent time machine..... Hey if you can time travel in a DeLorean, you can time travel in a Ford Explorer) only has to drive a half hour North to Sarastoa FL to accomplish this.
This was the 15th annual Medieval Faire in Sarasota and honestly, it was just so much fun! From the very first moment that you walk through the "castle entrance" you have entered another world. It is a fanciful world that blends days of yore with days of never were and dotted with a soupcon of anachronisms, this piney wooded area behind the Robards Arena was perfect. And there is just so much going on from the very instance that you cross into their realm that it's hard to know where to look first.
I adored how many attendees dressed in costume to attend the Faire. I would say at minimum a third of the guests were in costume to some degree. Sometimes just the right hat or parasol will transform an ordinary regular person into a Medival Faire attendee/attraction. Other times the entire regalia is required. Secretly, I wished I was in costume too. I was so impressed by all of the costumes and forgot to take photos of most of them. The ones that cracked me up the most were the people in full costume,carrying around cell phones. HAH! But here is a sampling of some of my favourites:
There was plenty to do there. With nine different stages of entertainment, sometimes it was hard to decide what to do! One of our immediate favourites was the fellow Harmless Danger who juggled first balls, then those bowling in looking things, then knives (!) and then firey lit torches (!!!) all the while laughing and teasing and joking with the audience. He was very quick witted especially with hecklers, regardless of their ages or gender. (talk about equality!)
Another favourite of ours was the gentlemen who thrilled the audience with his many different Birds of Prey and Falconry and, I suppose, Owlry, assuming that's a thing. You see, our hand down favourite was this gorgeous Barn Owl. From the minute the creature his assistant brought his owl out we were mesmerized. She swooped and dove and circled around us in absolute silence but always returned to her trainer. Okay, I'll be honest, we were amazed all of his incredible creatures but that owl stole the show for me.
.There were demonstrations of such things as how to properly sword fight and fire off a fair shot with a bow & arrow But they also had folks to teach how to weave make any number of other amazing things such as pottery, soap and jewelry.
Naturally there were shops to buy almost anything milord or milady could possible require such as a fur collars or fairy wings to say nothing of full outfits including proper shoes. You never know when this might come up. Gotta be prepared. Oh my Goodness there were Sooo Many Shops!!!!!
Naturally there were all sorts of musical and dancing acts going on too. Bagpipes, drums, flutes, various Celtic musicans and Irish dancers all were there for our pleasure. There were fortune tellers, looking appropriately sketchy and jesters that were silly enough to even make the worst sourpuss crack a smile.
They even had "rides' of sorts. All brightly painted and powered by brawny lads and gravity but still a ride is a ride and the kids on board loved every minute of it.
And you cannot go to the Medieval Faire without attending a joust. It matters not which knight you favour, they are all bold, brave and encased in tin. The heraldry is everywhere, including on their enormous horses which were so huge that even the knights had to have steps to get on board. I would have needed an elevator. It was fascinating to see that they do actually strike each other hard enough to splinter their lances. Listening to those horses thunder down the arena as they bear down upon each other, wooden long faux lances aimed for the other's hearts was both exhilarating and terrifying! (they were all well protected by metal plates, never fear) Oh me oh my!
Food and drinks abounded and after that exciting jousting match, we needed to quench our thirst. In addition to mead and beer there were turkey legs and slightly out of step with everything else, pizza and tacos'. Oh well. As there were an untold number of places to eat I'm certain that there were a zillion or so different kinds of fare, but we just got cold bottles of water. Medieval Faire's are a thirsty business.
We saw chess matches with live actors as the chess pieces, saw a daredevil climb and dance upon the Wheel of Death, observed a blacksmith hard at his trade and heard that next week, St. Nicklaus would be visiting.
It was so much fun. The last time we had seen anything like it was a Renaissance Faire in Larkspur Colorado that we went to when we first moved out there. It was a blast! But that was more than 12 years ago now. We were overdue a visit. I'm so glad that we went.
I hope we don't wait another 12 years to go again. And Maybe, who knows, Maybe next time, I'll make a little more effort with what I wear. I don't know. It just looked like so much fun to be a part of the show.
If you have never been to a Renaissance Faire or a Medieval Faire, find one. Take a deep breath, relax, stop being literal and of the here and now. Prepare to step back in time, sort of, and enjoy the show. It really is just so fun!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.