Tuesday, October 2, 2007

"Fair" thee well... until next year.

The family visited the Maryland Renaissance Festival again this year.

Every year so far, we have had at least one (usually two) children along that required a stroller (pain in the ass to navigate in a crowd, not good in gravel), a backpack (where you hold food over your head for them and pick up errant sippies), or carrying (ooooh, my aching back - really, dh's aching back).

So, sorry little guy - you can go play soccer with your cousins... see you later. Look at him, it's not like he suffered.

This year, only our two older (odder?) knights came to the festival.

Like all good family entertainment, we listened to bawdy songs that they couldn't completely understand (we think).

Then, we took them to the sword swallower, Johnny Fox.
First, he loosened up the audience with a little cup game. Everyone should know how to play three-card monty, right?

Ok, folks, here it is...as he says, "yeah, it's gross, but, you're going to watch, right?"

Getting there...

Yup, he's got it.

Then, for our further entertainment, he swallows a balloon (and, he says he isn't gay - shame, isn't it?).

After the balloon, he pops it by swallowing another sword. What? You are still waiting for me to take the balloon out? Wait until tomorrow (B is still waiting).

He sets a good example for the kids (yeah, so he wasn't swallowing fire, right?).

Oh, then we watched the jugglers. Yeah, more good role models, juggling machetes.

So, then, we wait patiently to hold the perfect seats for the joust. B has been waiting since last year to see the joust again.

OH MY GOSH - here they come...

First, they compete to see who can skewer the rings with their swords (Ree, eat your heart out - here are some beautiful Belgians doing the work they were bred for).

Then, they hack apart wood blocks.

OOooooooh, look, here is the jerk they hired to get the crowd going, there he is occluding the view I sat in the sun for 45 minutes to get. Isn't he charming?

Oh, and look, here are the knights beating each other (more) senseless with clubs.

And, here is the big deal - actual knocking horseman off with a lance.

Here, they celebrate the winning horseman that broke his lance (several times) on the other man's armour.

B wants to be "a jouster" when he grows up... we are so proud. No, really, I've heard there's lots of money in it... what? YOU ACTUALLY PAY TO DO THIS?

Oh... dear.

So, we burned off some extra energy at "Ye Olde Playground".

They had swings during the Renaissance, yes?

Oh, and pirate ships?

After the boys burned some energy, we added to the family fun by watching "Hey Nunnie, Nunnie". They are absolutely hysterical (to all of us that think making fun of nuns, religion, and the bible are the perfect pastime).

We ended the perfect day by letting our aspiring jouster have a pony ride.

What you didn't see:

  • the stilt people
  • lots of pleasant drunk people
  • the belly dancers in Ye Olde Tavern
  • a fair with enough "ye olde portapotties" for everyone in need (really!)
  • a fair with very little trash (again, it is true)
  • the amazing amount of dust (boy, is it ever dry out here)
  • the aerial angels (I missed 'em too, but dh and Z got to see them). I think the combination of aerial work of women in leotards, with great flexibility probably suits the guys more anyway, yes?
  • the Drench the Wench booth
  • lots of women making good use of period costumes to show more cleavage than ever
  • lots of unusual people (but, really, in a good way)
  • more off-British accents than you can shake a stick at (Kevin Costner was virtually a Londoner by comparison)
  • the child's Knighting ceremony (we missed it this year, but our oldest has already been knighted - for deeds of "being good to his baby brother").
  • fair food - can you say "on a stick"? I mean, seriously, even cheesecake on a stick, geez Louise. On the other hand, deep-fried pickles are scary good.

See you next year, festival, it is always fun.

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

Excellent, excellent post. Loved the comments on the sword swallower :)

I would love to see a Joust - living in England, I'm betting that they must happen all over the place here (seeing as they used to happen all over Europe). I know the "Sealed Knot" recreate big civil war battles, but am not sure about heraldic tournaments.

The kids look great in their chain mail too - I once dressed as a Knight of the Crusades for a wedding (I'll tell the story one day in my blog)