Renaissance Fair

The Renaissance FairThe Arizona Renaissance Fair is winding down – it ends with the end of the month. We hit it last Saturday for Celtic Day.

The fair is less than a fifteen minute drive from home, which makes it a convenient way to waste money! But the $20 ticket is a fair price – no pun intended – as you get more than your money’s worth.

One day is not enough to see all of the events and sideshows. The fair is a permanent medieval city, many of the acts are local residents. Beside the local crafts such as handmade instruments, attire and sundries, there are informative and educational booths, lots of live music, and comedy troupes.

Drummer from TartanicOut first stop – after the beer stand of course – is the main open air stage to see Tartanic. They are a Scottish band that bill themselves as “men without pants”. This quartet features a bagpiper, and drums and percussion – and they get the crowd going by encouraging the audience to make drunk phone calls to their still sleeping (former?) friends to be awakened to bagpipes…

turkey legThe food courts are surprisingly affordable, and the turkey legs are to die for. One leg is a meal!

The comedy troupes are fun as they pick on unexpecting audience members – do not be fooled, they will embarrass and humiliate you if you opt to participate.

JoustingThere is an arena with live jousting events. This year they made the events more fun – you will see great jousts no matter which one you attend throughout the day, and the outcome is no longer staged. They used to stage the events so that the heroes always own, now the best jouster will win.

These actors are true athletes and I can imagine some must go home hurting after some of the heats.

While there is a Johnson clan from Scotland, they do not have a tartan, despite some websites that purport otherwise. In fact, clan tartans are a Victorian invention, and until the mid-nineteenth century, tartans were more associated with regions than clans. I opted for the Thompson tartar for my kilt because my father’s best friend throughout his life was Bob Thompson.

Kilts are no skirts, but rather worn today in Scotland as you would wear trousers – there is no dress code other than to dress appropriately for the occasion.

In other news, Harbor Freight is right down the street – and they have great prices. Of course, I would not rely on them for power tools, I only buy the best quality for tools that I depend on. But today I acquired a welding helmet for $41.  It is solar powered, auto-darkening, and would run $90 anywhere else. I am now ready to power up my yardsale-found welder and begin experimenting. Get ready for a new collection of sculptures!


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