Friday, July 26, 2013

Wicked Renaissance 2013

Me, a bridge troll, and my mom
It's that time again when I share my yearly Renaissance Faire photos! Be sure to click on these to see them larger. My mom and I had a fun day until it rained, although even that was interesting. I ended up with a very different set of photos later in the day. The day started off very sunny and hot. These are the opening gates we passed through on the way in. You'll see the lady in the balcony later on.

Cool Hippocampus on the crest below her
The storefronts and restaurant facades are very cool as are the hanging signs. We're lucky to have such large trees in this area. They add a kind of Sherwood Forest feel to the place.

Here are some of the many dresses and costume accessories that are for sale.

There are lots of little shops in the middle of the forest, like this wonderful gypsy cart that is painted with bleeding hearts.

I think this is some kind of demon wild boar on one of the buildings. Check out his eyes!

Robin Hood and Little John giving one of their performances. They're usually walking around interacting with the crowd.  I didn't notice that moose until I saw the pictures at home...

Bluebeard the pirate with an actual blue beard. He has some awesome accessories on his costume. Check out the ship's wheel with a little skull.

It was Steampunk weekend at the faire. I didn't get a lot of photos of the Steampunkers aside from this one. This guy was wearing a heavy looking propeller hat and I'm not sure what kind of backpack. It looks like some kind of early rocket pack. There's a cool elf lady behind him.

This is "The Rat Catcher". I wish I'd gotten a clearer picture of him, but he was busy moving around catching rats. He kept poking that staff under plants looking around. That bunch of fluff on the top of the staff is his collection of "rats". They were all toy rats of course! I found a clearer picture than mine on Flickr:

The Rat Catcher making a face

There were plenty of fairies this year, like this mossy herb fairy:

These were the best wings I've ever seen at the faire! They are so iridescent and pretty.

This sleeping fairy was lounging around for a long time. She was a nice non-moving photo op!

This lady, who I like to call the fire fairy, was perched high on the balcony of a building. I was happy that my camera could close in on her this much! I wonder if someone airbrushes the makeup on the fairies?

In front of a metal flower shop:

A man modelling the wares of the leather shop behind him. Every year there is a different guy in a different leather outfit out front.

Remember Evil Seth Green from the 2011 photos? He had a new white outfit this year.

He was coming towards me at kind of a quick pace and I was shaking a bit when I took this, so it's a bit blurry. I really wish it was more clear! Despite having seen a lot of scary dudes at the faire, this one got to me. He had that creepy sneer going on.

Here are a few more fun guys. There are some funny details in this one if you look at it closer. The man to the left of me has red eyes, which I didn't notice until I looked at this on the computer. I actually didn't look at his face at all when I went over to pose with these guys, so that was a bit of a surprise.

There were plenty of statues. This one was an actual person!

St. Michael

A very cool stone head on the ground near where the Queen's court meets. I oddly didn't see the Queen all day!

This jester statue has stood high on a rock as long as I can remember going to the faire. If you look closely, you'll see a spiderweb complete with a spider hanging off his nose!

I'm not sure what to call this woman's talent, but it was awesome. She was way up high in a tree doing some kind of air acrobatics on long pieces of fabric.

A man pushing the little kids on a ship ride. I can almost hear the high pitched screaming and giggling again looking at this.

These two were dispensing free advice to the passersby. They were about as sassy as they look.

Remember this little witch from last year's photos? She's such a character. This year she brought some friends along.

Here they are being asked by a religious character which one of them started the rain. It had rained a bit by this point, but we found cover under a tree.

On to the Joust to the Death!

Unfortunately, it rained again and big time with thunder, lightning, and a total downpour. The storm continued for a long time.We had to run for cover under the stables. A few diehards stuck it out in those bleachers waiting for the show. The expression on this drenched kid's face says it all. Let's all say it together "Awwww!"

Despite the rain, the show went on! Not for very long, but still the knights got out there. We were hiding under the cover of the horse stables when I took these photos. We were in such a hurry to get under something, I didn't even realize we'd be standing with a horse. We got to see maybe 15 minutes of sword fighting. No one wanted to bring the horses out in that muck and I'm sure leather and armor can only take so much rain. There was a new Xena: Warrior Princess type character out there this time. I really like this action shot!

A proud warrior and his victim:

One of the knights even brought out the firey whip in that rain. You can guess how long that stayed lit, so I was glad to snag a photo of it.

These two looked pretty hardcore as they stood out in the middle of a rainstorm in their black leather outfits.

I actually found a video someone took of that joust at the same time I was taking my photos:

I can tell from the view this was shot, that one of the diehard people who sat out in a rainstorm taped this. Go to the 1:41 mark to see the fire whip!

Here's what the faire grounds looked like once the storm finally stopped. The ground is usually hard and dry with a layer of sandy dirt on top of it. It had transformed into a muddy lake that our feet were sinking into.

We thought we were out of the woods as far as stormy weather, but as we were leaving it started up again! I managed to snap one more picture as we ran out to the car. I couldn't pass up taking a picture of these two.

It was a shame that we didn't get to see the drum circle and dancing at the end or the parade. Remember those photos I shared of the deathly parade last year? I would have liked to have seen that again. I guess I should just be grateful for how much we did manage to see and take pictures of! The rain did at least give this year's Ren Faire photos a different look.

I have one more video to share. This is a montage of characters from our Ren Faire this year. You'll see some of the people and creatures I photographed, like the troll, the fairies, Bluebeard the pirate, and that fabric acrobat high in the trees. It's all set to some of the bagpipe music we heard this year.  I think this person really captured the mood of the Faire.

P.S. ~ If you missed my Bristol Renaissance Faire posts of past years, here they are:

Wicked Renaissance 2012

Wicked Renaissance 2011


  1. Oh boy! Talk about weather extremes! Well, you certainly managed to get some lovely photos before the heavens decided to open. :)

    1. Little Gothic Horrors ~ Yeah, it was pretty crazy. There were at least three thunderstorms during that day and the sun was out in between them. Thanks! I was pretty happy with my photos. It's a good thing I'm constantly snapping them or I might not have ended up with much!

  2. Wonderful photos! So much to see. :0) And so hard to say which is my favorite. Looks like you and your Mom had fun despite the rain.
    Thanks for sharing. :0)

    1. Jeanne ~ Thank you! Oh yes, there's a lot to look at there. I'm not sure which photo is my favorite either. The troll was new this year, so that's a fun one for me. I probably like the picture of the iridescent fairy wings best. Yeah, we still managed to have fun. We were deciding to look at the day as an adventure. :)

  3. Looks like a great time Justine. I did not make it this year. Everytime I drive by on 94 I keep saying...I gotta go this year. Still a few weeks left so you never know. Great pictures too, always a pleasure to view.

  4. October Boy ~ It was a great time! Yeah, you're probably about as near to the Faire as I am. You should totally check it out! The Ren Faire goes until September 2, so you still have plenty of time. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos! I'd like to see some of your photos if you make it there.

  5. This always looks like so much fun! Bummer on the rain but it looks like you made the best of it.

  6. Bob ~ It is a lot of fun! Yeah, the rain was not a great surprise but it was something different! If you ever feel like driving a few hours, you might want to check out the Bristol Ren Faire. Or maybe there's a Ren Faire in Illinois too?

    1. We where just up there but we went to the Jelly Belly Factory instead! :) Some day tho I will have to check this out. Addind to my bucket list.

    2. Bob ~ Well, you have until September 2, should you make your way near the Bristol Ren Faire again! Would you believe I've never been on the Jelly Belly factory tour? It's relatively near me and I love Jelly Bellies, so I don't know what's up with that. Would your recommend the tour? I bet you get a bunch of free samples!

  7. That looks like such a fun event! I loved the video - it's ALMOST as good as being there in person. I've gone to a Ren Faire here in Calgary ... sadly, it was really bad and I never went again. I suppose I should give it a second chance. Maybe it's gotten better. ;o)

  8. Insomniac's Attic ~ It was a lot of fun! Yeah, that video gives a pretty good idea of what we experienced complete with the music we heard. I'm always happy to find a video of a place I've been. It was a real surprise to find the video of the rainy joust from the very time we were there!

    What was so bad about the Ren Faire in Calgary? I've watched videos of Ren Faires from all over the place and some definitely look better than others. You're right, it might have improved over time! Were you there many years ago?

  9. It was probably about five years ago now, Justine. It really wasn't well organized ... there were a couple of people fake jousting and one table selling stuff and that was it. It was almost embarrassing, really. Maybe I should Google it and see if it's still going on. :D

    1. Insomniac's Attic ~ Oh boy. That doesn't sound too hot. I hope the admission was free! :)

  10. Enjoyed all the pictures and even the shaky video. It looks like you had a fun time even when Mother Nature tried to spoil things.

  11. Julie ~ Glad you enjoyed the photos! I was happy to find that video because it really gives an idea of how hard it was raining. I thought the person who posted that was being a little hard on herself, because it wasn't all that shaky. I've definitely seen shakier! Yeah, Mother Nature made a few interruptions that day. I don't think I've ever been to a festival on a day with that kind of weather!

  12. Oh how did I miss this post! I love seeing your yearly pictures of the Ren Faire! I would absolutely love to spend a day among these characters, everyone seems to have left their everyday lives and worries behind and really got into character. It's funny to think that a lot of these people have office jobs and the like, can you imagine them turning up to their desks dressed like this? :D I bet the world would have a lot less problems if we were allowed to do that! My favourite part of your Ren Faire pictures has to be the fighting and jousting, all I can think of is Game of Thrones and that makes me exceedingly happy! Until next year! XD

  13. Sandy ~ Thanks! I look forward to sharing my Ren Faire photos each year. I'm sure plenty of the people who attend the fair work in conventional jobs. I remember reading a book years ago (during the Anne Rice craze) about people who dressed as vampires after hours. A lot of them were accountants. So probably a lot of people you wouldn't expect have fantasy filled lives outside of work! I think it would be awesome if they came to work in their Ren Faire costumes. I'm sure it would make the day more fun for everyone.

    I was pretty happy with those joust pictures. At the time I was surprised to be getting much of anything through that storm. It's just as well that it rained, because I think that adds something different to the pictures. I've never watched Game of Thrones, but I know enough about it to understand what you're saying. I know there's a lot of bloodshed on that show!

    Yes, until next year! :)