May 20, 2013

Renaissance Fair

We had such a fun time meeting our homeschooling buddies at the Renaissance Fair on Friday!  Our friend, Kai, has a birthday soon, so his mom made this his birthday celebration.  She brought a time appropriate meal for each family (a loaf of bread and fruit) and ginger ale for toasting to Kai.  Then we all parted ways and wandered around to see the sights.

The Utah Ren Fair is a nice, mild version of a sometimes questionable sort of event.  I can remember my dad demanding a refund once, when I was a kid, and yelling something about this NOT being a family friendly event.  They defended it as time period appropriate, if I recall correctly, but we didn't go back for years.  The one here is about as family friendly as can be while still being mostly period.  There was one show that my kids and their friends went down front to watch and suddenly the other moms and I looked up at one another with a little awkwardness on our faces, not wanting to be the most prudish mom, but also not really loving what our kids were hearing.  I said, "Should I go grab the kids and we can move on?"  Everyone nodded and I snuck up and pulled everyone out for a little more sigh seeing rather than listening to some scantily clad woman go on and on about something that wasn't exactly inappropriate, but not exactly enriching, either.  Certainly not anything I'd love to hear my kids repeat.  But really, other than that, it was good, clean fun!

One of our faves every year is this killer Captain Jack impersonator.  He's built this boat on a trailer that he lugs around and he's got the accent and the swagger, and it's like you're meeting the real deal, Johnny Depp character.  My friend, Heidi, and I wondered aloud if this is his full time gig or if he does something really average during the week.  I put my money on accountant.  I remember when Joe was Clifford the Big Red Dog once for the kids' preschool co-op book fair and he LOVED it.  (Sorry to out you, Joe!  I'm sure it's not the first time.)  He spent a bit of time trying to figure out how making kids smile could be his new full time job, because I think that's a pretty addictive feeling.  But alas, he stuck it out as a biologist/patent agent.  LOL!  Anyway, I bet Captain Jack here lives a double life.  I bet his co-workers and their kids come visit him and they never even realize that that's really their buddy Tim from accounting there on the ship.

And this year we met our first mermaid.  The girls were a bit enamored with the tail.

The best part was something they haven't done in years past, and I thought it was brilliant!  There's some non profit group (gosh, I wish I could remember the name because I'd promote the heck out them, I was so impressed!) who coordinated with the vendors to have a sign that says "Knightly Virtues" on their tent, and when the kids saw that sign, they could go in and get a quick lesson on a virtue like courtesy or diligence, and if they listened to the lesson, they got a sticker on a form.

Once they learned about all of the knightly virtues, they took their complete form to a really cool tent where they could be knighted.  It was awesome!  The man had them take a knee, vow to practice the virtues, and then he did the full sword on the shoulder and head bit and declared them sir or lady So and So.


Once knighted, they'd go over to "the queen" and receive a certificate of knighthood that summarizes in beautiful words and writing, all of the duties of the new knight.  It was lovely and all of the kids loved it.


Once knighted, they would turn around and the king would yell, "Three cheers for Sir Hunter (or whoever)!  Hip hip..." and then everyone within earshot would add "Huzzah!"  Seriously, it was adorable and quite a memorable little addition to the fair.  I hope they do it every year!

So there ya have it!  Another Ren Fair come and gone!  But the fun's not over!  Just so happens that we met these people who collect Roman artifacts and look-alike odds and ends.  I asked if there is a fair specific to Ancient Rome because we'll be starting back with ancient times here in a couple of months and their stuff would be so perfect to see in person once we're into our studies.  The said, "If there were a Roman fair, do you think we'd be here at a Renaissance thing?"  Ha!  Fair point.  But then he mentioned an event in the summer for ALL time period collectors and reenactors.  AWESOME!!!!  And he'll be there with all of his collections.  I haven't mapped it out yet, but if we're in town, we'll totally drive to whatever end of the state that's in because he had some really cool stuff that the kids would get more out of once we've had a refresher course in ancient times.  Actually, last time we were in the ancient times, Haven was still a babe and the extent to which Hunter participated was letting us put him in a toga for a dinner party.  Haha!  So, I'm excited to have made contact with this family just in time for our relaunch of ancient civilizations.  Everything is more memorable when you can touch and feel it, and talk to wacky people with the accents.

So this year's fair launched what appears to be the summer of history come to life!  I'll keep you posted!  And come back tomorrow because it just so happens that tomorrow's Tuesday Teaching Tidbit is history related too.  The coolest history project I've ever come up with!  See ya tomorrow!


  1. Looks like great fun Skyla. Ren fairs are a favorite of my two grown daughters and their husbands. The younger one's wedding back in September might have qualified as a Scottish Ren fair all by itself. But when I hear of the over-emphasis at many of these events on the "bawdy" side of life in those times, I wonder what future actors might portray of our times if only our "entertainment" media survives. God forbid that 400 years from now, MTV music videos and reality shows (or worse) become the primary source material for 20th Century living history exhibits.

  2. Gosh, I never thought of it that way, Darrell! Scary!!!! Makes me feel a sudden surge of puritanical energy! LOL!


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