It was a sweltering day, not unusual for late August in the Mid-South. The sun was brutal even at nine in the morning, driving us to slather on extra sunscreen before we got in the car.
I’ve always heard my friends raving about the wonderful experience of visiting a Renaissance Faire. I’d always wanted to attend, but until last year, visiting one meant travel, and that was hard to do with a little one. When I heard about the first faire, I was thrilled, so you can imagine my disappointment when my very first faire experience was mired in mud and doused with torrential rain that drove every scheduled entertainment event off the open stages and into the tents for shelter.
It wasn’t exactly fun.
This year, the weather promised to be clear, if hot. Most of August was over 100 degrees, so we expected a scorcher but planned to attend anyway.
The faire was bigger the second year, but a lack of coordination on our part meant we still missed most of the programming we were interested in. But there were lots of vendors, and me and the little one left with flower crowns, while the king of our castle returned home with a bow.
It’s always hit and miss in the first few years of an event. Our local convention scene has been steadily growing and while the faire was put together better this year and had many more vendors, it still felt like entertainment was lacking; the shopping was the best part, though we enjoyed the music in in a pirate-themed hideaway, even if the parrots weren’t the best singers.
We attended the joust, which was much more enjoyable this year, since it wasn’t raining. Though it’s not a proper joust and is more like a show of horseback finesse, it was interesting to see.
Though the fragrance of turkey legs was tantalizing, we cut out early due to the heat. None of us tolerate it well, so a cold glass of lemonade back home started calling my name at lunch time. We headed home, but not before little bit had a chance to say hello to the fine jousting steeds.
Next year I hope to see more vendors and have a bigger budget; there was a lot of jewelry I loved, including bronze pendants forged on the spot using medieval methods. But I’d also like to see more programming, more stages, and more seating for people to actually watch events.
It was still a fun experience, and I left happily inspired to get back to work on my fantasy stories, which I expect to pick up again in October, now that Midnight Cowboy is finished and moving to queries.
But first, a small break… and perhaps a glass of lemonade.