Saturday, September 6, 2014

I'm In A Renaissance Faire State Of Mind

"I know what I'm needin' and I don't want to waste more time..." Billy Joel sang about his New York State of Mind. Well, with some of my kids going to different Renaissance Faires today, I'm in a Renaissance Faire memories state of mind. (Kari & Ken are attending the "Pirate Invasion Weekend at the Oregon Renaissance Festival of Hillsboro while Doug and Shelly will be at the Des Moines Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow. I'm so jealous. But since I won't be going in real time, I'll attend by visiting memories of past faires.....
......Beginning with the first time I even heard about a Renaissance Faire. My sister-in-law, Ruthie, was excitedly telling me about the Kansas City Renaissance Festival. I think she and Ron had just been there. Honestly, I couldn't have been less interested. I thought it sounded boring. Silly me.
It would be many years before Kari and I, along with friends living in the area at that time, attended the KC Festival at their Bonner Springs location.


My first renfair was with Kari at the Salisbury House in Des Moines. It was held in the back courtyard of this stately home South of Grand. The Weeks family had their 1920's home constructed to match the King's House, a 15th Century Manor home they had seen in England. While the first one was a very small faire, it evolved and grew once it moved to Water Works Park.


I enjoyed several years of Salisbury Faires in Water Works Park. It was great taking my little granddaughters along and introducing them to the magic. They had as much fun dressing in costume as Kari, Doug and I did.


Although as I recall Alyssa, or maybe it was Dominique, didn't care much for the whip cracking troll pictured here with Kari. Kari sure had fun with him, though. She had recently purchased her own bull whip and had been practicing so they had a contest as to which one could crack the whip the loudest.

Eventually the Salisbury Faire was discontinued but another renfest was held for a few years at the state fair campgrounds. It wasn't huge, but it was fun. Just the right size to take a younger Zach and Katrina to. I remember Zach being put in the stocks after having Katrina placed in them. Des Moines finally has a permanent fair grounds at Sleepy Hollow south east of the state fair grounds. Bud and I have been there a couple times. It seems to be a good location unless it rains.

Douglas, Kathryn, Ramona, Deise and Kari. All dressed up with Someplace to go

My favorite Renaissance Faire has to be the Minnesota Renaissance Festival at Shakopee. I've lost track of how many times I've been there - always with Kari - first when she lived in the Twin Cities and later when we drove to get there or I met her when she flew in from Portland. This photo is of the year we took two of my granddaughters along. So many good, good memories of that faire!


Of course shopping is a favorite part of attending the faires. Over the years I have collected my share of treasures, especially the bodhran. Now if I could just learn to play it even one tenth as well as my son-in-law does! The bodice dagger on the left is also a favorite. It has a topaz stone set in the top. The other little knife is one I bought for Bud so I guess it would have to be a boot dagger.
The potion bottle holds some special oil while the leather medicine bag contains .... well, you're not supposed to tell what is in your medicine bag or it loses its power. The silver bracelet is the one I bought at that first Salisbury Faire; the silver ring at another one and the necklace at yet another. This is just a small sample of the jewelry, tee shirts, and other mementos I've come home with from all the faires over the years.


Possibly my favorite memory is captured in this picture of Duggan at his first renfest in Minnesota. He was dressed the part of a Celt but what he hadn't expected and what was so moving was how he felt thrown back in time. A true Son of Somerled.



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