Yesterday was opening day of the Arizona Renaissance Festival. I am fortunate enough to live fifteen minutes from the Faire!
I have not posted recently because life has been very busy! I have been working nights, sleeping days – that doesn’t leave me much time to get into trouble.
The Ren Faire is open for almost two months. Opening day is always packed, so we had an early start.
We began the day at Mickey D’s, a local restaurant that has outrageous biscuits and gravy. I had a half-order with an egg over easy, and two slabs of bacon. Some haters complain about the lack of salt in the meals – I guess they have never been informed of the proper use of the salt and pepper shakers provided at every table! A properly prepared meal never has too much salt added!
We took a leisurely drive down the 60 to the Faire. The drive is scenic, and the Highway Patrol has does a superb job of keeping traffic flowing. I remember hours spent on I195 in New Jersey because of the massive traffic jam of people going to Great Adventure, NJ could take some lessons from AHP!
As you approach the Faire entrance, the highway is coned off, with festival traffic led to the right and into the two lane road. The secret to a good parking space is to keep right, and the lot is directly in front and to the side of the main entrance. The Faire is a permanent little town. We arrived forty minutes before the main gates opened. We always purchase our tickets in advance – Fry’s sells them at their customer service desk at a $3 discount!
About half the people in line were in costume. We plan on attending on Irish Day – on the week of St Patty’s Day. We will be in costume that day, and I believe Liz’s daughter Steph will join us from San Diego.
And while some Ren Faires cater to more authentic period dress, this is more of a geek day, with a lot of men without pants (kilts) and Vikings and even a few Star Fleet uniforms, elves, and once I even spotted a Tardis! She was a tiny girl, well young woman, and I mused if she was bigger inside than out…
There are live jousts, and everything you would want to see. The comics are bawdy, but the humor is cloaked so not to be offensive to families. That is good or else some kids would be traumatized for life! The food is affordable, and actually quite good, but then again, after several pints of Guinness, my judgment might be altered!
The beers run $4 or $5 a pint, which is to be expected. They have mead, a requisite, and wines and even mixed drinks – if you want mixed drinks, go to your local tavern, not here! They are a bit pricey, and weak.
Lady Tess is a friend of ours, and she looks forward to the event every year. She is dressed in authentic costume, and throughout the day gives a very informative lecture on proper dress, the hows and the whys. She has mannequins – this year she is adding a male mannequin, and showing the layers of clothing, the purpose they served, discusses the bathing (or not) habits.
The belly dancers are always a special treat. There is never enough time in a full day to see all there is to see, and I doubt you could see it all in four days. This year we hit different exhibits and performances, and next trip we will hit more.