Ren Faire

What is my life?

I think it’s about time that I share one of the best/worst experiences of my life. The Renaissance Faire. About 40 minutes away from my home, in a place called Bristol, Wisconsin is where you can see freaks of all ages dressed up in medieval garb trying to recreate their renaissance dreams. It’s comic gold. People have absolutely no shame once they enter the gates.

The first thing that you’ll notice at the Bristol Ren Faire is that 75% of the people are really into it. The other 25% are people like me,  just going for a good laugh. Everyone puts on their best English accent and communicate with each other in their own medieval language. For example:

Creepy guy in tights: Good morrow, m’lady.

Me: Oh um hi. Where are the restrooms?

Creepy guy: The privies are o’er yonder.

Me: …………

The main reason that we go to the Ren Faire is to laugh at the costumes. Some people have really good ones that probably cost a quick $2,000. Others use the Ren Faire as an excuse to wear chain-mail bikinis. It’s always the people that shouldn’t be scantily clad, that always are. Others sway from the 16th century look altogether. I’ve seen a lot of sci-fi outfits, mythological creatures, and a lot of men in kilts.

There's a surprising amount of this happening.

There’s a lot of cool stuff there too. It’s not completely weird. They have henna artists, jousting, comedy shows, musical performances, fortune tellers, elephant rides :(, and lots of good food. They have shops that sell crafts and tapestries. Stores that sell dvds, cds, and books about medieval life. Lots of stuff to distract you from the freaks.

My family and I like to think about what these people are like in real life. The guy that’s dressed up as a Centaur probably works in a cubicle and no one knows about his love of being half-man half-beast. The ultimate scariest is when you see someone fully dressed in their costume, yet they’re also wearing a Bluetooth. These sightings are rare, but thoroughly amusing. It’s almost as if they wanted to fully immerse themselves in the Faire, but they couldn’t quite disconnect. Perfection.

Have you had the pleasure of going to a Ren Faire? If so, huzzah!


29 thoughts on “Ren Faire

  1. Oh man, I too loved Ren Faire. My mom used to work there when I was 0–5. I spent a lot of time with the people working there, and as I got older, I went there once a year. Only to realize that, as you’ve so aptly put it above, there are freaks that go in outfits having nothing to do with medieval times. There are plenty of other places to get weird, so it’s fascinating that he picks this time period to go in his mini skirt with tub top.

    • Yesss. I love that your mom worked there! It’s always been a secret dream of mine. I occasionally find people working there that look like they just hate their lives, but other people are SO into it. So amazing.

  2. That is amazing. It boggles the mind how some people take things like this so seriously.

    You get similar people doing LARP – Live Action Role Playing. It’s like the Dungeons and Dragons boardgame but in real life. There are loads of funny videos on YouTube. One clip has a wizard throwing sticks at a troll as he shouts ‘lightning bolt’ over and over again.

    I will try to find it when I get home from work.

  3. AgrippingLife says:

    “Comic gold.” that pretty much sums it up. Reading this brought back all the memories. so Funny! I wish they didn’t have the elephants and tigers there. maybe I’ll call PETA and they can look into it? Otherwise, no more Ren faire for me. : (

    • Great mems. I don’t think they have tigers. Just eleies. But I could be mistaken. I just don’t go to that area. Call PETA for sure. Although one of my friends said PETA is bad and the donations don’t always go to animal rights or something. Hmmmm!

  4. They are just trying to keep the medieval dress and language alive, don’t for get America has very little history. I think thats why they like do things like this and like what goes with our royals.
    The men in kilts are from Scotland, or else just wearing the kilt to be different.

    • Addie says:

      We have a rich history, sadly, unless you are a Native American, not a very long one. And, some of their memories are:

      “Hey, Sparkling Deer!! That stupid white man naught skins from me we were hoping to make into blankets, and gave a blanket for EACH of us.”

      We know how that turned out. James Cameron would have saved a fortune in production costs if he’d just used blankets. Still, I suspect he made more money making the film his way.

    • DP,
      Yeah, I can see the draw of wanting to immerse oneself in a historical setting–making history come alive…kinda. I think you’re right.
      Yeah most people that wear the kilts try to do the Scottish thing, but most of them just add a kilt to their already bizarre outfits. So strange!

  5. Marya says:

    This is hysterical. Ren Faire has never been a want or need on my list. Your parents remember, “Leslie,” from their college days. She is a childhood friend of mine and years ago gave me a detailed description of the Ren Faire in Denver. What stayed in my mind, after hearing her talk of the event, was that EVERYONE was in character at the FAIRE.

    What pops in my mind when I hear the words, “Renaissance Faire,” is when our neighbors’ house caught on fire when we lived in Denver. It was horrific. The parents were in Alaska. The dog and died in the fire; the house became a pile of ashes. The 20-something sons of the family were at the Renaissance Faire that day without cellphones. When they arrived at the scene of their house fire, the sons were dressed in their “Ren Garb.” Fluffy shirts, knickers and lots of velvet. I didn’t know what to stare at. It was eye candy.

  6. There’s a place called Medivel (I always spell that word incorrectly and I’m always too lazy to look up the correct way yet not lazy enough to give an explanation of my mistake) Times in North Jersey. I think the movie The Cable Guy had a scene take place there. Anyway, I went there once before. It was all right. Mostly a jousting show. I know there’s a big Ren-Faire in Pennsylvania somewhere but on the ads they always say you need to take the Turnpike to get there. Turnpike is like saying hell here. If I ever feel the need to go I’ll reread this.

    P.S. Ren-Faire chicks are hot.

    • Yes, we have a Medieval Times by my house too! I’ve never been though. I feel like the jousting is animal abuse. The only reason I know how to spell medieval is because of the endless history papers I had to write. Days of my life wasted.
      hahahah I KNEW you would think Ren Faire chicks are hot. There are some really pretty girls working there. They always have their boobs out and for some reason a lot of them work at the pickle on a stick stand. Okay, I can’t really blame you, I guess.

  7. Pete Howorth says:

    I see stuff like this all the time, unfortunately there’s none of that here 😦 you’d end up getting stabbed or something, the best we can do is paintballing it seems. But that’s okay because you can inflict a good level of pain.

    • Haha I love that there are no guns in England and everyone is terrified of being stabbed. I mean, I would be too. I’d rather be shot than stabbed a hundred times. Paintballing is okay, but it just seems painful!

  8. Marya says:

    I can’t stop thinking about that photo you posted of the guy in Ren-Faire-Garb with a blue tooth in his ear. Classic. I also can’t stop thinking about our young adult male neighbor in Denver with a white ruffly shirt and velvet knickers waving his arms and then falling to the ground when he saw his house burned. It was truly Medieval.

  9. pops says:

    a great post and amazing memories–forest fairies still thrill and chill in equal amounts. and don’t forget the sobering turkey leg statistics: 25,000 per season. yes, that’s right. 25 times one thousand. in other words, A LOT of dead turkeys (who even in death have more dignity than that guy with the bluetooth in his ear).

    • Hahah so true. The worst is seeing people in their disturbing outfits and then eating a greasy turkey leg on top of it. So disturbing. I was going to mention the forest fairies, but they are so hard to describe. Only we know the true secrets of the forest.

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