About 45 minutes from my apartment is the New York Renaissance Fair. Or the RenFair, as we called it growing up. Cricket had never been, and I hadn’t been since in a decade, so I thought, hey, let’s go pretend we all live in Ye Olden Tymes without those pesky details like complete lack of hygiene and sewage running free in the streets. Now that I have gone, I feel comfortable not going again for another decade.
Many of these photos are mine, but a bunch more are pulled from the internet. So thank you, Internet, for sharing thy bounty with me, prithy and forsooth and all that good stuff.
The RenFair takes place in a forest in upstate-ish New York. They’ve actually built a wee little Elizabethan village there.
And many people come in costume. Some are in period-appropriate costumes, but we did see one guy who was dressed as a Storm Trooper in a kilt.
As we came in, there was a cool bell apparatus on the side. A spooky guy wearing a full-body catsuit and a winged gold mask played the bells using a complicated pulley system.
Cricket was super-exited to try mead, which is a kind of wine, and a turkey leg, which is a famous RenFair food. They are advertised all over the place.
Just so you know, the food at RenFair is depressingly expensive. Turkey leg? $7.50. Funnel cake? $6.00. And this peeved me no end – pickle? $3.00. THREE DOLLARS for a cucumber soaked in salty herb-y water. What do those ingredients cost, like, seven cents, max? Oh, that really bakes my cookies.* Here’s a picture I found when they were only two dollars for a pickle, back in the good old days.
Please note the delightful skull-and-crossbones painting on the end of the barrel. There are a great many hand-painted signs all over the RenFair. Some are extremely well-painted:
Some are not well-painted:
And some are painted with totally unnecessary apostrophes.
Belly Dancer’s WHAT?!?? I feel like I’m missing something. I find it fascinating when people use punctuation where it’s absolutely not necessary at all.
There are a ton of women in costume there. I think many look forward to dressing up in interesting garb, like these women (note the peacock feather lashes which match the purse, FIERCE):
But I think the vast majority of the women just like the opportunity to dress up as the local village concubine with their corseted mammaries shoved up and out.
I’m all for hoisting your petards if you got ’em, but sometimes it’s a bit ridiculous-looking. Like when you get armpit cleavage.
Or this lady in charge of the camel rides who had the word ” T I P S ” written across her chest. Dear Lord, woman, your cups runneth over.
We saw a whole bunch of different shows throughout the day, jugglers and jesters and gymnasts, but my favorite was (surprise!) the birds of prey. But first, the parrots. The parrots were in a huge enclosure near the birds of prey. You paid two dollars (which went to the maintenance and upkeep of the parrots, so I was totally fine with that) and you got to wander around with the parrots and there were friendly little bunnies that the parrot-owners had adopted hopping around eating grass bits. I was very happy.
Right outside that area was the falconer guy with the birds of prey. He shared four with us that day. The first one was a Harris Hawk, which I didn’t take any pictures of because I was too busy staring at Bird #3, which was a Eurasian Eagle Owl named Buddaka.
The second bird was a Black Vulture named Igor, and I managed to snap one or two shots of Igor. Still totally paying attention to the owl.
After Buddaka, there was an Andean Vulture. This particular andean vulture weighs 22 pounds and has a ten-foot wingspan. She was a monster. She looked like a demonic wild turkey. I, of course, loved her.
And that was pretty much it. We watched some jousting on horses, ate some more, and went home.
Addendum: Snorth requested an animation of the two first pictures of the owl, and I am nothing if not amenable.