Oh, Garcia, yes it is.
Around the end of summer us Halloween folk start to get antsy. Fall is not in the air, but there it is on the calendar! October 31st is so close yet so far away! We need a good excuse to wear a costume and be someone else for a couple hours to tide us over, and there is no better place to do that in late summer in Minnesota than the Renaissance Festival!
Here in Minnesota the Renaissance Festival (from here on out will be referred to as "Ren Fest" to save typing time. Some of the hardcores like to refer to it as "Fest" but I'm just not that deep in to it, man. To me, "Fest" could still mean a number of things, EdgeFest, OzFest, various other hardrock music festivals I would never attend...) directly competes with The Great Minnesota Get-Together, the State Fair, for our attention. I used to be a hardcore fair go-er, so much free crap and the 4H Barn is a wonder among wonders! But ever since I have started going to Ren Fest, in 2006, I could take or leave the fair. Mostly, I leave it. I can skip a few years without a free neon yardstick and some mini-donuts (because you can totally get those at the movie theater year round) I prefer to spend my money in a dirty, wood-chip laden former farm land in the southern suburbs wearing a costume and getting drunk on cheap white wine. Huzzah!
I came kind of late to the Ren Fest game. Like I said, I only started going in 2007 when my sister's then boyfriend, now husband, Derek wanted us all to come with him. He is a season ticket holder! Some people hold season tickets to baseball games, some to Ren Fest. It didn't take much to talk me in to going in costume. Any reason to wear a costume I am game for. And I think we did pretty well for first timers:
The year after that all it did was rain. But we looked great! And Jim is wearing a kilt (inauthentically, I may add. Tsk, chicken.) The purple bodice I have on was borrowed from one of my Party Papers co-workers who is much, much smaller than me. That is the beauty of bodices though, I cinched that sucker in until I could barely breath! The cloak was made for my by my mother-in-law as a Christmas present the year prior...
Here is the back of it (yes, I am Scottish folk dancing with a very tall woman) The cloak is a beautiful piece and since it was made for my not-so-impressive height I don't have to worry about tripping over it all the time. It is now a part of my Ghost of Anoka Tour costume. She is quite the wiz on the sewing machine as you can tell.
2009 was by far the most fun I have had at Ren Fest. I am not only wearing poorly applied hair extensions (I had a very short haircut at the time) and yes, Moya is dressed up at a fairy in a Leg Avenue dog costume, Cori and I are proudly wearing Fairy Crowns I made myself AND those amazing translucent wings made by another co-worker at Party Papers! Aside from the crown and the wings my costume was incredibly simple. Navy blue leggings and a top of Cori's from Target. I was very comfortable that year. Maybe that's why I got so drunk...
Here is a better shot of the wings, that now hang in my daughter's bedroom:
Jim and Derek were also fully decked out that year as well:
And yes! We did bring our children with! Cori and Doty chose not to don a costume.
As the years have progressed my costumes have gotten a bit better. But, they are no comparison to some of the more hardcore set. Behold my friend Megan's custom made dress by the Royal Tailor!
Even in her down time, when I would probably trying to access the internet someone, she stays authentic and plays cards!
Who is the Royal Tailor you ask? This guy:
At Party Papers we are already gearing up for Fest season, since these costumes are incredibly expensive and people like to spread out the cost over a few months and tend to start shopping early.
I always enjoy Ren Fest for many reasons, but the biggest reason is knowing that the next time I will be this excited about a costume and revelry will be Halloween!