Monday, July 28, 2008

A Day at the Bristol Renaissance Faire

We had such a great time at the Renaissance Faire! We went with these friends from church who are really into it--costumes and all:

Costumes seemed to be the order of the day. Front and center in the next picture is one of Queen Elizabeth's ladies-in-waiting; near the fence and hanging over it are actors from the Robin Hoode Show. (That's the evil Sheriff of Bristol on the far right--take note!)

Two of our kids dressed up--Chicklet5 is there on the left, holding hands with our friends' costumed daughter who's barely in the frame, and Bantam9 is just beyond Chicklet in the black hood. We weren't sure what look he was going for, but the actors immediately recognized him. "Look out," one of them cautioned me, "I see the Ninja Monks are in town."

Our friends planned our itinerary so we didn't miss a thing!

The falcon and hawk show was fascinating. Here the trainer is getting ready to put a hood back on his falcon: (click for more detail on any picture)

The Barely Balanced stiltwalking, acrobatic juggling team was a hit:

And no day at the Faire would be complete without a jousting tournament!

These guys were so impressive--not only did they have to be skilled equestrians, able to take several falls a day, but they were also fine actors who played their parts with gusto. In the final joust, they were all unhorsed and the Joust to the Death ended with a display of combat stunts (and theatrical blood) which impressed us all--especially knowing how much practice it takes. from Bantam13's experience taking a theater Stunts and Combat class last year.

There were mini-shows all over...

...dancing and craft exhibitions, food and music...

...and chances for audience participation. Here are Bantam9 and our friends' son performing a pike drill for the Queen, at the opening of a joust!

(B9 is on the left, in black, and our friends' son is in front of him, in green and white--with Queen Elizabeth herself on the right, with the plume.)

Our two young pages also suited up for some fencing:

See the balloons on their helmets? The object was to pop the other's balloon. :)

The younger set couldn't wait to take a pony ride:

(Our friends' daughter is in the background above, patting her pony's back.)

Bantam 3, with tongue tip protruding, was SO delighted with his first pony ride!

The teenagers enjoyed everything! Here they are, with our friends' son, talking to Don Hidalgo, the Dark Knight. Oh, and the gal between Blondechick and B13? She's an answer to prayer!--a Christian girl Blondechick met at youth group last week, who lives really close to us and is as sweet as she can be! Doesn't she look like a member of our family? :)

All Bantam17 cared about was returning to the Weapons shop he'd seen at the Faire's entrance, so we made sure we stopped there on the way out. And who was there, talking to the shopkeeper, but the Evil Sheriff of Bristol! We tried to engage him as a regular guy, but he wouldn't break character, taking offense at my suggestion that he probably wasn't such a bad guy in real life.

Blondechick and her friend began teasing him about his costume, and as he was reacting, her cell phone rang. "Excuse me," she said to him archly. He was outraged and insulted, and ended up demanding an explanation of her friend on the phone:

...who had a time of it, trying to convince the Sheriff that he needed a phone number from Blondechick, quick!

All in all, it was quite a memorable day. The kids are already asking when we can go back!


Heather said...

Looks like fun! We have a (reportedly) excellent Renaissance Faire not too far from here. The faire is nearly all summer long, so perhaps we'll go check ours out. The only down side would be that I would totally want to dress up for the faire, and 100+ weather just isn't good dress up weather!

Rev Colin said...

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Erin said...

Oh WOW! If my local Renaissance Faire was like that, I would actually go.

Anonymous said...

BC was telling me about your encounter with the above evil dude, but that picture is priceless! Haha.

Art in Kenosha said...

Wow, those photos are wonderful! They really capture the spirit of the day!

Linds said...

What a great day! My kids have always loved the re-enactments we have all through summer around here. It must be SO hot for the people in full regalia!

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

Oh that looks like fun. I've never been to a Ren. Faire. What I want to know is did any of you eat a gigantic turkey leg? So glad to hear of the answered prayer in BC's new friend. Relief! :)

FugateFam said...

Thanks for telling me about your post!!!! I LOVE this stuff. :-) And what great pictures, too! Looks and sounds like you all had fun! :-)

Jenny in Ca said...

wow, love all the photos! monks! my son would have loved that!

My Meg age 13 was really into studying about falconry, she wanted to get one and become an apprentice...but we live in the city, where would it live and where would it fly and would our neighbors forgive us when all the cats started disappearing???
It just wasn't meant to be.