|Mimi the Mermaid|
When asked what my attraction is to this event, my quick and easy answer is the people. Not only the performers but the costumed characters, the vendors, and the fans. This year I made a real effort to do more than gawk and shoot photos. Now several performers know my name. I've met a couple of fellow photographers in person who’s work I’ve admired for years. I’ve hung out with some awesome performers and their over the top fans. I've learned to eat fire. I don’t really recommend that last one. Not that anyone besides me has fire eating on their top 100 list.
So what does this little faire have to offer? I attended four full days before I saw every act (so I thought) and each time was a truly unique experience. There is something for everyone who enjoys live entertainment.
|The Harper & the Minstrel|
|Iron Hill Vagabonds|
Somewhere in the middle are the loud and bawdy bands belting out anything from Irish drinking songs to comedy and pirate tunes.
|Cast in Bronze|
If you would rather feel your music more than hear it, stand in the front row at the Cast in Bronze performance and get your bones rattled and fillings loosened. This has to be the most unique musical instrument I've ever seen. All four tons of it. It takes quite an athlete to play this collection of church bells on a truck bed but he never misses a beat.
|Masala Gypsy Dancer|
|Irish Step Dance|
What would a Renaissance Festival be without the knights? These guys take quite a pounding every weekend for our entertainment. I don't care how scripted the show may appear. You fall off a galloping horse in full armour and it's going to hurt somewhere between limp and 911. I've been going to Renaissance festivals for 15 years and I've only seen one real injury but I'm sure these guys put their career and health on the line every time they suit up. The audience knows it too and the Field of Dreams is always the Field of Loudest Cheers.
|Commedia Del Sol|
|I Want My Mommy!|
|Mud Show - Splattertime Players|
|Jana Lee and Adam Lowe|
At the end of the day, when the closing cannon blasts letting everyone know it's time to leave, there is no mad rush to play bumper cars on the way out. Five times with oodles of people leaving at once, the very first driver I came upon waived me onto the road. I, in turn, did the same all the way to the exit. Merging into traffic leaving a concert or ball game in Miami is more of a Gladiator sport. The folks who attend the Ren Fest this year have braved the elements, the cold, the wind, the rain, and blazing sun for a full day and still are polite enough to drive with courtesy. Like I said at the beginning, the best part of this event for me is the people.
|Beauty 3 (on the inside)|