Saturday I drove up to the Sterling Ren Fest with my friends Don and Tyler, and met up there with James. It was a perfect day for it and the drive was lovely. It was good to be brought up to speed by Don on the goings-on in the lives of my fellow college RPG players. The ren fest seemed pretty much exactly the same as when I went in 2008, but that made it no less fun. I brought my camera, but was too busy enjoying the beautiful day and entertainments to take more than snapshots.
We wandered around for a while checking out the various performances. Almost as soon as we set foot in the village, we were accosted by two women who tried to get us to help them tell a circle story about a dragon … unfortunately they weren’t very good at prompting us to take part in their improv acting and seemed more interested in directing their attention at anyone who was too obviously uncomfortable.
Probably my favorite act we saw was the story of Samson told with much cross-dressing and splashing in the mud pit. After that we filed over to claim a spot on the grass to watch the jousting. The pre-show was a series of tiny children displaying their prowess on hobbyhorses.
The joust itself was not one of the best I’ve seen – not helped at all by the guy our side was supposed to cheer for having major trouble with his horse. He fell off at least twice, and the horse seemed very twitchy while he tried to get up and start again, which was kind of distressing to watch. It was nice to sit in the lovely weather with my friends and eat bread and meat and cheese though.
When the tourney wrapped up somewhat anti-climactically, we saw a silly performance of bravado and whip-cracking by Don Juan and Miguel.
I spent a while wandering around looking at the shops while the others did their things, and found a nice belt and a fluffy hair fascinator in beautiful colors.
There was a hypnotist show, and a pair of troubadours who sang a couple of nice folk songs I knew, which was exciting.
The three of us then went to a short version of “the Tempest,” which was pretty decent. We went to a show of manliness, which involved sword-fighting, playacting dramatic death scenes involving crotch kicks, and completely failing to woo the fair lady. Sounds about right…
By that point we were feeling worn out from the excellent day and wrapped it up with some beautiful medieval instrumental music before heading out. It was a pretty great day.