I discovered in the last year or two that if not for Christmas, the Renaissance Festival would be my favourite time of the year. The only one I’ve attended (and apparently one of the best ones, according to friends who’ve gone elsewhere) is at The Castle of Muskogee in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Yes, this castle is a permanent structure!
I first attended the Renaissance Festival there in 2011. I was immediately hooked! If we’d realised that we would go every weekend, we would have bought season passes and saved loads of money on tickets, haha. We also attended the masquerade ball, one of the separate events that happen Saturday evenings after the faire ends for the day. (I’ve already talked about the masque ball, and my meeting the Doctor, here.)
Now don’t hate me for saying this, but to me it’s like a convention to the nth degree. At cons, it’s getting together with people who have similar interests, meeting/seeing famous people (while it’s more their characters I want to meet), and buying lots of stuff you don’t need. All that is super fun, and the conversations, parties, and making friends with fellow fans is the best part.
At a Ren faire, it’s getting together with people who have similar interests (or at least like to dress up and/or pretend to be someone else for a while), living in another world with characters from that world (and seriously, the volunteers at this one spend a full month beforehand getting into character), consuming at least somewhat period appropriate food and drink, and buying lots of stuff you don’t need. Not to mention the shows: duels, acrobats, bards, magicians, knighting ceremonies, singing pirates!, and so much more!
I’ve gone as myself attending an event, myself dressed up and in another world, and even in character attending a yearly festival (who says there’s no such thing as a vegan pirate? 😋). I’ve gone with one person, several people, and even by myself (honestly, that’s my favourite). However I do it, it’s always some of the best fun I have all year.
If you plan on attending this particular Renaissance Festival, here is a list of my absolute favourite things. This is neither a complete list, nor have seen everything there is to see.
-Tribal Circus, Italian Piazza
-Jolly Rogers (my favourite singing pirates), Castleton Harbor
-Brothers Dimm (get there early, as this tends to be a popular show), Mud Stage
-Heroic Knights of Old Joust (most popular), Tournament Arena
Food & Drink:
-Jerusalem Café (labelled vegan options!), Village Center
-Cappuccino Inn (coffee shop!), Italian Piazza
There is one place in the Village Center that has sweet potato fries, my favourite food at the faire, but I keep forgetting to see what the place is called.
Shops (doesn’t include clothing) and Games:
-Lilystrations (watercolour paintings by Lily of Tribal Circus), Italian Piazza
-Badger Blades (really Hubby’s favourite), King’s Highway
-Majikah Perfumery, King’s Highway
-Aerie Books, Celtic Quarter
-St. Sadie Soaps & More, Celtic Quarter
-Tomato Jerk, Celtic Quarter
-Medival Mapmaker (historical AND nerdy maps), Castle Keepe