Renaissance Faire Newbie
This past weekend we took a trip out to the Lake Anna Winery where the Virginia Renaissance Faire was being held. The only other experience that I’d had at a Renaissance Faire was my senior year in high school; my high school would put on a mini Ren Faire for all of the seniors. All of the seniors and the teachers would all get dressed up in period attire (as best as we could) and enjoy the games and events that the school put together. For a lot of students, it was just a way to get out of class, but for the drama and history lovers, it was definitely a pretty cool little experience. So, fast-forward a lot of years and I finally got an opportunity to go to an actual Renaissance Faire.
Reformed Scaredy Cat
I had been wanting to attend a Renaissance Faire for many years, but I was never able to find one in my area, or someone to go with me. To be honest, the thought of going to a RenFaire by myself for the first time was a little scary because I didn’t have any period attire and I didn’t really know what to expect. So, obviously I was never able to get around to going until recently. As you know, I have decided to take a more adventurous approach to life so when I saw the advertisement for the Virginia RenFaire, I jumped at the opportunity!
It was fairly (pun intended) easy to find the location, and the parking was plentiful, which was fantastic. The Renaissance Faire organizers picked the perfect location; the trees provided the perfect backdrop and really made me feel as though we had stepped through time and appeared in the middle of Sherwood Forest. It was pretty humid, so the shade from the trees not only provided a great setting for the event, but it also provided much needed shade. I don’t know why I’m always so surprised by the humidity. It definitely doesn’t change, and it never gets any easier to deal with.
Renaissance Faire Expectations
Since I haven’t been to a legitimate Renaissance Faire, my frame of reference is limited. That could work in one of two ways: I could either have an amazing time because I don’t have anything to base it off of, or I could have unrealistically high expectations. Luckily, I’m pretty level-headed, so I went into it with an open mind. Suuuuper glad that I did because it was awesome.
We received a map and a schedule of events at the entrance to the Faire. After a quick cursory glance of the schedule of events, we were a little overwhelmed. We were not prepared for the amount of activities that they were offering. Thank goodness there was a gentleman at the entrance that noticed how lost we looked and gave us some suggestions. He sent us off to the joust and also suggested that we join the Queen at court afterwards.
Events at the RenFaire
When I saw the schedule of events, I was expecting soft demonstrations with minimal physical contact….. I was wrong. The jousting event was exactly that, 2 knights on horseback with long lances. That was probably one of the coolest things that I’d ever seen. They obviously didn’t have legit jousting events at my high school RenFaire. I can’t even imagine the parental waiver that would be required for that!
After the jousting event there was a very informative fencing demonstration with pretty hilarious explanations. The most important thing? Stick the other person with the pointy end! The seating area didn’t offer good views, the fence obscured a lot, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to get too many good photos.
We decided to see what else the RenFaire had to offer, so we set off in search of the Queen’s Court. There were so many different artisans and food vendors, it took a little bit of time to actually find the Queen’s Court because I had to stop every 2 seconds. Once we found the Queen we were enthralled! There were so many actors in beautiful costumes holding court. The Queen looked just like the Queen of Hearts, but thankfully no one was beheaded. I asked one of the actors about his costume and he explained that he and his wife were the ones that designed and sewed his ensemble. He told us that it took him four months to complete all of the beading on his cape alone. The amount of dedication the actors have to their craft is absolutely amazing.
Music to My Ears
Aside from all of the great food and activities, there was also great music. The wonderful group, the Rogues, kept the audience completely enthralled. Their musicality and their energy was so wonderful. I think that we spent the most amount of time at the Queen’s Court and listening to the Rogues. Besides the Rogues, there were several other groups and musicians in various areas of the Faire, but there was simply not enough time to see them all. The Faire lasts several weekends, and I can see why.
I can see why people get completely engrossed in Renaissance Faires. It is very easy to lose yourself in the beauty of the costumes and the history of it all. Especially when you find other like-minded people that enjoy the theatrics of it just as much. I am sad that I waited this long to attend a Faire, but better late than never. I will definitely be looking for other RenFaires to attend!
As always, thank you so much for following along on my adventures! Be sure to check out my Instagram for other pictures of the event and definitely take a look at the video! I’d love to hear your feedback, so please leave any questions or comments.
Until the next Adventure,