October 7, 2013

Returning to the Ohio Renaissance Festival

After many years away in California, I'm back in my home state of Ohio. There's a lot to like here. Los Angeles is full of traffic and hot weather. And Disneyland. I miss my friends terribly but overall, I think I made the right choice. Among other things, returning to Ohio meant I could attend my first and favorite renfaire again: the Ohio Renaissance Festival. It was like coming home.

I tried not to be the person pointing out what was the same and what was different all day, but I couldn't help it. You should feel sorry for everyone in my group who had to hear "I remember..." I was constantly running comparisons in my head. A good chunk of the entertainment was the same, and I recognized tons of vendors and faces who were at the faire when I started attending 16 years ago. About seven years had passed since my last visit to this festival, but it was like I walked back in time. I found the similarities comforting.
The thing that surprised me most was that of the two performances we saw, not only were the people involved the same (except for one) but the dialogue was almost spot on. I knew what was coming next, but it didn't matter - I was still entertained. I laughed, I had a great time, and it was just like watching a favorite movie you've seen dozens of times. I was wrapped up in a cozy blanket of familiar jokes and just a little mead.

My favorite act is still The Swordsmen and other than some slight hair loss, they didn't look any different. Neither did the belly dancer I recognized or one of the men in the mud show. What fountain of youth magic is in the renfaire circuit? Because we should all be getting in on it.

And can I just say renfaire shopping is my favorite kind of shopping? Wood mugs, leather journals, pottery, armor - it's so much more fun than going to any modern mall. I squealed when I found leather shoulder armor; it's my favorite renfaire purchase ever.
It's from The Griffin Works, and it's so awesome that I'm tempted to wear it while sitting at my desk. Seriously though, I plan to work it into a renfaire-pirate-y outfit. We'll see.

I had such a wonderful time that I would have loved to go back once more before the season ended yesterday. At 3.5 hours though, I'm just far enough away that it wasn't practical. It's much closer than a few thousand miles however, so at least I get to go back next year.


  1. Ah, Dirk and Guido. I remember seeing them a good 20+ years ago at my first Faire.

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