Living daringly … Renaissance style.
While my friend, Mary, was paddling her heart out on the second day of the Everglades Challenge, I lived daringly by going to the Renaissance festival. (I did feel a *little* guilty.)
You might not think so, but the Renaissance festival definitely fits into the living daringly mode of life. If you are doing it right, you see through the eyes of a child again. You enter a world where fairies, dragons, mermaids, and trolls are real. You pass by shops with wares that delight the eyes and the senses, often hand crafted. Vendors sell turkey legs, Scotch eggs, fish and chips, and more. There’s beer, cider, and mead! Oh, the mead… (Mead + cider = bee sting, cider + lager = snake bite: drink in moderation or ye shall regret it. Trust me on this one.).
But wait! There’s more…
There are also stage shows and other performances. Many of the performers travel around the country to entertain Renaissance festival goers with shows ranging in topic from Shakespeare to laundry. There are contact jugglers (think of The Labyrinth) and acrobats. As the Washing Well Wenches like to say, this is their real job. If traveling from town-to-town in Renaissance garb to entertain a crowd isn’t living daringly, I don’t know what is.
And you can’t forget the musicians. The Black Velvet Band (BVB) has become one of my favorite Renaissance faire musical acts. These Irishmen will lead you through traditional pub songs. Participation is required! While at the faire they tend to keep their songs clean. Go see them at The Pub on a Saturday night, and you’ll get the full BVB experience. Bawdy (to downright dirty) songs and lots of beer. Often they’ll play drinking games in between sets, but they are word games or games that require hand-eye coordination. I tend to do terribly, which means I often am punished with not drinking (drinking is a privilege, you see… ). I’m fortunate that these guys are local, so whenever I’m missing the Renaissance festival I can stop by one of BVB’s shows for a refresher.
Every year I’m excited and grateful to go to the faire. They are incredibly fun, and there is certainly something for everyone. If you like music, shows, food, beer, fencing, fighting, torture, true love (Well, I haven’t found the last one yet, but you never know!), you should most certainly go. If you live in the Tampa area, you are lucky because the Bay Area Renaissance Festival (lovingly known as BARF) is going on through April 6!
Go to the faire. Take cash and take small bills. Use those bills generously to tip the performers whose shows make you laugh or want to dance. Show some love to the performers who make you feel like a kid again.