Bay Area Ren Fest 2015

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Renaissance festivals. Many years ago a friend introduced them to me, and I was hooked. Since then I’ve been to Renaissance festivals in three different states! 

Today, I took a full day off to go to the Bay Area Renaissance Festival (lovingly known as B.A.R.F.). I’ve gone every year since I lived in Tampa, starting with the 2011 BARF. It doesn’t get old.

Here‘s a post about my experiences last year.

I’ve established a tradition. The first order of business is to get breakfast: a Scotch egg. 




After that, I mostly just wander. There’s so much to see. The cast are in costumes, of course, but many people who attend the Renaissance festival dress up too. You definitely get an eyeful of wizards, witches, trolls, steam punk, Renaissance Superman, Renaissance Star Wars characters, etc…

I couldn’t decide if my costume was more gypsy or pirate, but the Gypsies adopted me. They even taught me their family cry in case I get lost!

What do you think: gypsy or pirate? Or, perhaps, a pirate gypsy?



Whether pirate or gypsy, I like my costume. I especially like my black bag, which hangs from my belt, and my tankard strap. I made them myself!

I had a wardrobe malfunction with both, because I didn’t set my rivets straight. Fortunately, the vendor at the Shop Troll booth replaced the for me, free of charge! They make beautiful leather skirts, kilts, and other clothing. Check them out!

It’s kind of funny when a guy in a button-up blue shirt and a tie stands out as abnormal in the midst of all of the unique costumes.


Mr. Button-up in the incense shop…


I met up with some friends. We shot archery together, and some of them tried their hands at throwing knives. I think overall we fared better at archery. 

I killed a Tyrannosaurus rex and a capybara!


03072015_Ren faire prey

My Renaissance faire prey! (The targets are shaped like different animals…)

I talked a bit with some of the different workers at the Ren. fest. I made sure to say hello to Pickle Man, the pickle vendor. I always like talking with Green Man. Today I learned that he does his act at the Michigan Renaissance festival too. He said he makes a decent amount of money doing it. Certainly he’s a very witty plant.

Greenman me_crop

Green Man and me – 2011.


I also spent some time talking with the elephant keepers. Apparently they do get flack from protesters. However, they said at BARF, since it is a bit smaller and slower than some Renaissance festivals, they get to talk to people and answer real questions about the elephants. They said that this interaction really helps people to understand more about the animals and their care. I came back time after time just to watch this majestic beast. She is amazing. And at no point did she seem to be distressed. Except, perhaps, if one of the keepers took a bit too long to give her a piece of banana…


The elephant, Essex, getting a drink of water. She seemed to be using the hose like a straw.


I also got to see my favorite Renaissance festival band: the Black Velvet Band! Unfortunately I missed most of their set, because of my wardrobe malfunction. But it’s always good hearing them and talking with them. They are a fun group!

So, it’s been a good day. Since my schedule is so crazy right now, this will likely be the only time I make it to the festival this year. But I’m glad it was such a good day for it. I had a wonderful time.

Until next year… Huzzah!

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