Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Erica Here: This Labor Day, my husband took me to the Minnesota Renaissance Fair. We had never been before, though our children, who also came along, had been.

Let me say that as a person who is no fond of crowds, there were a LOT of people. But let me also say that as a person who enjoys watching people, MN Ren Fest is a spectacular place to see unusual people.

Most of the attendees arrived in costume, and a lot of them added to their costumes throughout the day. There were girdles, cloaks, gauntlets, corsets, skirts, veils, tabards, chain mail, armor, and so much more for sale.

Jewelry, pottery, glass, iron work, leather work, musical instruments, hats, swords, daggers, bows, arrows, quivers, candles.

Scotch Eggs, giant pickles, cheesecake (on a stick,) cider floats, turkey legs, cheese curds, loaded fries, funnel cakes, barbarian burgers, mead/beer/ale/wine/soda/water/lemonade.

Then there are the shows. My favorite by far were the jousting demonstrations, but we also saw running patterers, magicians, musicians, jugglers, tightrope walkers.

A truly unique experience.  Here are some of the pictures my husband took.

We entered at the King's Gate, and over the entrance, actors
hurled comments and insults and jokes down on the patrons.
It's all in good fun, and they were clever.

My kids and their friends, ready to enjoy the day.

The delightful and resourceful Deborah and Ruth,
 who created their costumes
 themselves. I am totally in love with Deborah's hat!

I loved the riding skills demonstrations.

The horses were enormous with feet the size of dinner plates.
The man inside the rail in the black tunic was a rabble-rouser,
working up the crowd, telling them who to cheer for,
 and teasing and poking fun at both the crowd and the contestants.

The riders attempted to pluck a metal ring off a
crossbar with their lance. Each time they succeeded,
a smaller ring was placed on the crossbar.
Eventually, the riders were threading a
2" ring on their lance at a full gallop.

This was a show called The Wacky Chickens.
This man has been a regular performer at Ren Fest for 40 years!

Juggling, music, dance, magic, and tomfoolery were the order of the day.

Jousting! The contestants rode onto the battlefield,
showing their colors and ready to test their mettle.

They were not even joking! Lances shattered
 (a piece even flew into the crowd.)
The sound of the lances hitting armor was amazing.
Clanging metal, thudding hooves, cheering crowds. 

These horses are so strong.

Smash! The horse on the left, a Clydesdale,
was by far the fastest of the horses.
He barreled down the jousting court!

This knight was shaken up by a particularly hard hit. We were right at the end of jousting area, and when he arrived in front of us, he was leaning over his horse's neck, groaning. We heard him say, "He hit me dead on."
The knight got his revenge. He took another lance, and on the next pass, he unseated his opponent.

The facial and neck armor worn by one of the horses to protect him during the joust.

That same horse, enjoying getting out of his heavy armor.

The Royal Processional. The king and queen of the festival with members of their court.

Heather and Julie after a day of feasting, shopping, and being entertained.

My kiddos getting their Renaissance Geek on!

So, what did you do on Labor Day? Have you ever been to a Renaissance Festival?

Erica Vetsch:
Executive Assistant
Earl Grey Aficionado 
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  1. In idaho I had been to a few. Loved them.

    1. This was my first. I have to say, the costumes were eye-catching. :)

    2. They recreating is great too. So is everyone who participates great bunch of people that I met in idaho.

  2. Don't find too many of those here in Alabama, ha!
    I loved the pictures, especially the one of the horse getting his armor off. Probably felt like we do when we take our girdles off!

    1. That's what I thought, too! Like when you slip out of the high heels that have been pinching your toes all day!

  3. That looks like so much fun, never been to one - but have wanted to for years. Love the costumes!! Thanks for the info and pics.

    1. There were SO many people in costume! I felt out of place!

  4. We went to the MN Renaissance Festival in 2010 with the girls. We had so much fun, even saw a bunch of people from Little Falls we hadn't anticipated! Love when that happens. We were actually thinking about going back this year. Maybe we will. :)

    1. I would love to go on Highland Fling weekend sometime.


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