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    Wednesday, June 17, 2009

    Opening day of the Colorado Renaissance Festival

    So a few days ago I went to the Colorado Renaissance Festival for the first time in a few years. It was two for one pricing, making it $9 to get in, rather than the usual $17.95 (and that is highway robbery!)

    We had perfect timing, got close parking, and no wait in line at all. THAT's what leaving at 8 am will get you. Thankfully our designated driver picked up hot caffeinated drinks for us, or the cranky-ness might have been too much to bear. Of course by the time we arrived, the hour and a half drive + coffee had taken a toll on our bladders. And then I remembered how much fun portapotties are in difficult garb.

    We dressed ourselves in mostly cavalier clothing, with the exception of one of us who wore a flowy middle eastern ensemble. From this, a few merchants were able to come up with catchy phrases like "Three pirates and a mermaid walk into a bar....and gave us all their gold!!" "Nice boots! Wanna ffffffind out how much you love our nuts?" "Ladies wearing PANTS! For shame on you wanton wenches! Come try on my skirts!" And so on.

    I noticed something new about the merchants: many, many of them had "no photography" signs in thier booths. Probably sick of us crafty SCAer's making our own versions of their wares. Don't get me started about the prices of things, I know they have a high booth fee to cover but come ON. One henna booth wanted $17 for a teeny-tiny OM symbol. I mean, that's just bending you over.

    But, of course, we shopped (and haggled) anyway. Between all four of us, two fine wooden mugs were purchased, a lovely leather hat, a cast iron teakettle and a copper coin bra, for bellydancing. Oh, and copious amounts of alcohol and food. We stood in the world's slowest mead line, as the Pirate's Pub was both understaffed and under equipped. The ladies...ahem, I mean wenches, that were serving were practically falling out of their tops keeping up with the rush. By noon, they were serving their last bottle of mead, of which we were lucky to get a couple of servings. Huzzah!

    We also saw a few shows. The clarion machine bell-player down by the joust was dramatic, and I think my ears are still ringing because we sat too close. Ded Bob was funny as usual, and conveniently located near the main food court, where we were able to purchase the completely NOT medieval delicacy of deep fried macaroni & cheese on a stick. OK, maybe the stick is medieval. Yummy! We tried to see Puke & Snot (there's a new Snot since the original one died last year) but thier act was cut short due to a rainshower. By the way, to the ladies with white chemise tops, rain makes it see-through!! Wear a BRA! My GOD some of these girls have no shame at all. But I digress...

    For those not familiar with the high altitude terrain of the site, only about 20% of it is flat. The rest is a hill. I was thirsty often. And you know what? There are NO DRINKING FOUNTAINS anymore. They were dismantled in the last couple of years. Something to do with the huge water bill the festival gets every year. So now you have to BUY expensive bottled water if you don't want to get dehydrated. Or, find the one or two 'flushy' bathrooms with sinks to refill your mug at, because they don't let you bring in water either. Honestly, that's just crap. Water should be free and abundant at hot, high altitude festivals, or there are going to be a ton of medical emergencies. If you don't provide it, people should be able to bring it themselves. Grrrr...cranky, maybe I need another beer instead. It's mostly water anyway...

    Now, one of my favorite things to do is people watching. This is doubly fun at a renfair. There were many more people dressed up than I was expecting, but it may have simply been because it was opening day...

    For those of you who went in beautiful, authentic garb and patiently posed for photo after photo, thank you. Your dedication to the theme is inspiring. But some of you must have waaay too much free time, or money.

    For those of you who went in modern clothes and proceeded to try and 'blend in' with your viking helmet, cutoffs and wife-beater tank top, thank you. Your 6 unruly children are obviously well trained in the art of berserking, too.

    For those of you (ladies) that stuffed yourself into a corset five sizes too small, thank you. I never knew you could make a muffin top out of back flesh. I think corsets are like spandex: a privilege, not a right.

    For the MANY barbarians, goreans and cavemen, thank you. How any of these costumes fit into a renaissance, I don't know, but your grunting, rawrring and quoting of "what is best in life" never really gets old. And Conan the Librarian, you are too funny. The big glasses really complete your look. I think some of you need to wash your leathers though. I could smell some of you from a great distance. Or maybe I was just downwind of the stables.

    For all the pirates, rogues and cavaliers that spent most of thier time around the Pirate's Pub, thank you. This last bastion of bawdiness is made much more fun by the constant AAARRRRRRing and jokes about your pegleg. And sooo many Jack Sparrows. I probably couldn't have thrown a belaying pin in there without hitting at least two.

    For the two or three guys dressed as video game characters, you made me feel like MUCH less of a geek, thank you. Especially Link. You should really get some real tights and not wear your mother's pantyhose though.

    All in all, a great day of seeing old friends, drinking and eating things you KNOW are horrible for you, and having all this material for mockery. Kind of makes me want to go back. Except for that hefty entrance fee...


    1. Man what a judgmental jerk you are.

    2. Why thank you, "Anonymous," it's nice to know how you really feel. Actually, it's called mocking. And if you were a regular reader of my blog, you'd know that this is ALL tongue in cheek.


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