Why the Renaissance Faire is Amazing

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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!

Credit: The Castle of Muskogee
Credit: The Castle of Muskogee

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.

Credit: James Gibbard, Tulsa World
Credit: James Gibbard, Tulsa World

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!

Italian soda and a falafel plate for lunch.
Italian soda and a falafel plate for lunch.

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.

Shows:

-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


Bonus:

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Shia LaBeouf spotted at The Castle in 2015.  (Click pic for article.)  Sadly, it was another week before I attended.

Don’t Forget to Be Awesome

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Vlogbrothers and Brotherhood 2.0

DFTBA Records

VidCon

International fandom

Nerdfighteria

Project For Awesome (P4A)

Six YA novels

Crash Course and SciShow

SAVING THE FREAKING WORLD!!

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If you had told the Green brothers, John and Hank, back in high school that they would someday accomplish all this, they likely would have freaked out or laughed at you.

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I was first introduced to Vlogbrothers last year when an aspiring YA novelist posted a blog entry about them (it?). It was then that I was opened up to a whole new world of awesome.

I became a fan almost immediately. Immediately, my first reaction was simply, “OK, some really smart, nerdy brothers who share their thoughts on YouTube. They’re worth watching…” I soon learned that they’re so much more than that.

Nerdfighters and Nerdfighteria. This isn’t about nerds battling with light sabers; it’s nerds fighting to reduce “Worldsuck” — doing our individual small parts to together make a huge impact on making the world a better place. Such Nerdfighteria includes volunteering in your community, donating to causes in which you believe (if you can, as generally the targeted audience is teenagers), and P4A — a two-day period in December when Nerdfighters are encouraged to post videos promoting their favourite charities.

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Even if you’ve never heard of Vlogbrothers specifically, you may have heard of John Green separately as a young adult (YA) novel author. He has his name on six different books, the most recent being the New York Times best seller The Fault in Our Stars. (This awesome book is currently being made into a movie starring Shailene Woodley as Hazel Grace… and Willem Dafoe as Peter van Houten — so fitting, BAHAHA!)

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Beyond these accomplishments (and continuous strives), they have also established DFTBA Records, a record company for musical fans such as Chameleon Circuit. Launched in 2010 was VidCon, a convention all about videos — celebrating our favourite YouTube channels, learning about current technologies involving video-making, and of course making new friends who share your interests! Scheduled dates for VidCon 2014 are June 26-28 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. (Stay “tuned” to VidCon.com for updates, or follow @VidCon_2014 on Twitter.)

In accomplishing more than that which I’ve gone into depth, John Green and Hank Green are so much more than just two brothers doing their part in making the world a better place; they are huge leaders in the fight against Worldsuck. (If you feel inspired and want to donate to help them in their effort, you can by going to http://fightworldsuck.org/.)

So long for today, and Don’t Forget To Be Awesome.

5 Facts About Chameleon Circuit

Not to steal the format of the palisadespete blog that I follow, which is always “10 Facts About” various subjects, but I didn’t feel like doing some long-winded blog about how I feel about one of my favourite bands. Since this is my first shot at a facts blog, I’m only going to make myself do five and see how it goes.

1. Chameleon Circuit was originally started by Alex Day, a YouTube vlogger and Whovian, back in 2008 after he did an online search for already existing Time Lord Rock (or “Trock”) music and found none. He was eventually joined by Charlie McDonnell, Liam Dryden, and Chris “Ginger Chris” Beattie.

2. Due to problems with their producer, the band was forced to release their self-named first album incomplete on 1 June, 2009 (15 days after I got married!), under the DFTBA Records label. (Nerdfighters! Yes!!!)

3. Beginning work on their second album, Still Got Legs, band member Chris Beattie left and in came Ed “Eddplant” Blann. Also to join was American Michael Aranda as producer, as well as bringing his many musical talents. This album was released in July 2011 and ended up hitting #23 on the charts in America.

4. A few months before they released their second album, they came across problems when Aranda was refused re-entry into the UK after a trip to France. After creating an online petition, they won Aranda’s re-entry for two weeks. Upon hearing of their predicament, the company Red Bull contacted the band and offered to pay their way into France so they could continue working on the album. As a thanks, the band performed at the company’s UK studio for Whovian employees before they released their second album.

5. The band was privileged to play in front of fans at VidCon 2011. VidCon was started by brothers John and Hank Green, most famous for their Vlogbrothers channel on YouTube. Hank is also co-founder of DFTBA Records. (“DFTBA” is an acronym for “Don’t Forget To Be Awesome,” a term coined by the Vlogbrothers.)

Whew! I did it! That wasn’t so painful after all… but I doubt I could have done ten, haha.