Sterling Ren Fest

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.

Forth the three hunters!
Tyler, James, and Don

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.

Samson and the soon-to-be mud wrestlers
Entertainment in the tradition of Bottom and other Shakespearean fools.

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.

Tiny jousters.
Tiny jousters.

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.

James and Don
James and Don awaiting hilarity.

When the tourney wrapped up somewhat anti-climactically, we saw a silly performance of bravado and whip-cracking by Don Juan and Miguel.

Don Juan and Miguel
Don Juan and Miguel may not have been completely sober, but they were having a lot of fun.

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.

Sterling Ren Fest Village
Ren fest shopping village
Folk singers
Happy folk singers

There was a hypnotist show, and a pair of troubadours who sang a couple of nice folk songs I knew, which was exciting.

Don, James, and Tyler
Apparently James is the only one who succeeded in his Spot check

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…

Manliness show
A display of manliness for the queen.

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.

5 Responses to “Sterling Ren Fest”

  1. Kelly
    | Reply

    Sounds fun. I’ve never been. And clearly your post begs the question….”Did any of you have a turkey leg?”

    • ellen
      | Reply

      I’d definitely recommend it – although I like getting dressed up and exploring the shops, which I think is a big part of any renaissance faire. There’s a lot of beautiful work. I think some of the excitement is decreased after seeing one on the grounds of a real German fortress though!

      None of us had a turkey leg as far as I know, although James did when I went last time. It was certainly a sight to be seen.

  2. Ariana
    | Reply

    You go the most interesting places. :)

    • ellen
      | Reply

      Come visit me, and we can go somewhere interesting! ^_^

  3. Angus Rockett
    | Reply

    Looks like a really fun day. Reminds me of Ren Fests I have seen including the one your mom and I saw outside Munich many years ago.

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