Saturday, May 06, 2006

A Dress, A Dragon and Draco

Today was our annual "Day at the Faire". Well it's the 2nd Annual.

Headed out to the Faire around 8am which was held again this year at the Santa Fe Dam Recreational Park in Irwindale, CA. This year the layout was much better. Last year it was really easy to get yourself lost. This year the streets seemed wider and the layout much simpler. It also seemed to be MUCH bigger than the year before.

So we get there around 10:30 and we head out for some grub right off. Bought a banger (English sausage and grilled onions in a roll) and mango lassie then head off to see the Belles of Bedlam perform.

On the way we stopped off at every other booth to look at various pieces of jewelry, shoes, paintings and various other renaissance wares. On this trip we stopped in and ended up buying Victoria and entire outfit. Bodice, blouse, skirt and a braided belt. Care to gather what those 4 items totaled up to? No, not that much. $200. Still, it accentuates some of her better features and hides the less glamorous ones. Let us just say she looks pretty good.

Caught the last two songs by the Belles: Rolly Me Over in the Clover and A Man in Every Port.

We walked over and bought a couples CDs by the Belles of Bedlam and the Poxy Boggards. We've been listening to a lot of Irish-Celtic and RenFaire music lately. Sailor's songs, drinking songs, dirty songs, and the expected Irish or Scottish folk songs. A lot of it is good and a lot of it isn't. I pretty much like it all but I definitely have my favorites.

Anyways we headed out to see the Queen's Joust at 2pm. On the way I saw my first strange sighting of the day (there would be many). A man dressed in simple clothing but he had this huge hoop around his waist supported by shoulder straps. Over this was black fabric. In the front, strapped to the hoop was a carved and painted wooden dragon head. The jaw had a lever on it so the guy could open and close the mouth. Strange man but perhaps there's a historical reference there.

The joust itself Apparently each section of the stands is assigned to a knight and we are his people. Today our section were saxons. Our knight looked exactly like a grown up Draco Malfoy and he was supposedly evil. He rode out and his words to us were something like "Let me make this clear. You are not my people. Cheer for me or not. I really don't care." He was in black and white with a snake painted on his helmet and some thing with a crescent moon outlined in a black circle being pierced with a sword. Our squire looked like a spanish pirate.

There was a French knight in green and white with a squire that looked like peter pan. There was a knight from the Northern Isles in blue and silver and of course there was an English knight in purple and gold. Victoria and Becky thought he was really cute. Blah.

Anyways the joust was really disappointing. There was no real hard hitting and when they were supposed to have been knocked off their horse, they instead stood up quickly, swung their leg over the horse and then fell. Horrible acting. This was played as a tournament to determine the Champion of Champions. It ended with the French and Saxon knights plotting the queen's murder, failing and the English and Northern Isles knights challenging them to a joust to the death. The Queen threatened to have the French knight executed but ended up agreeing to the Joust to the Death at 4:30 (the next scheduled performance). Wow. I didn't see that coming.

On our way back from this we saw a 12 yr old kid dressed up well like an archer in all green clothing and gold outlined vine designs on his shirt and cloak. With the long blonde hair he was our little Legolas. Also saw a dude dressed in full Bela Legosi Dracula garb full with red sash, gold star medal, greased back hair and fangs. Real sad.

We headed back to the food court and I grabbed fish n chips while the wife got herself a toad-in-a-hole. That's basically an english sausage cooked into a pastry. Tasty. She then went back and grabbed a Strawberry Crepe. As we stood there with dessert we saw strange sighting number four.

Now at Ren Faires you get your fantasy folk like trolls, fairies and various incantations of evil beings associated with folk tales of the period. You'll also see plenty of nobles, pirates and peasants spanning the globe. Most people fit the English or French look but I've seen spanish conquistadors, Italian scholars, Persians and barbaric tribesmen like the Huns or Goths (a bit early for the period but it works). Today we saw our first sighting of someone from the western hemisphere. Aztec warriors. Remember Monty Montezuma in his glory days with the eagles head helmet and large plumes, the real flaming spear and the such? The COOL one? Well that was these guys only looking much better.

So we go back to meet Jeff and see a troll sitting there with his dog. Decked out with motor oil or shoe polish or something. His skin was painted black, his hair matted, crude tools, huge pointed teeth on his lower jaw that almost reached his nostrils and very primitive clothing. He wore a lot and lots of layers. Must've been hot. He said nothing and basically kept to himself. Had a huge skeleton that might have been a horse hanging from a rope tied to a couple trees and a few other bones and skulls lying around his area as if to warn people to stay away. I thought it was kinda cool.

Then came strange sighting number six. This man was talking to a group of noblemen. He was wearing a cap of white cloth that looked a bit like what you might see on a puritan man when he's not wearing his signature black hat with the buckle. It went over his hair and covered his ears and had strings that tied around his chin. This all sounds somewhat normal until I mention the red neck and crown flops that you'd see on a rooster. Yes this guy had a rooster cap on. No beak or other plummage. Just the cap and the rest was normal 17th century nobleman garb.

Earlier in the day was the 7th strange sighting...a man sorta dressed as a noleman from hell. Like skeletor from he-man or something. His costume looked expensive because it was REALLY well done. His black wings looked like it was full of real black feathers including the fuzz (short plummage) that you'd see on a buzzard or something. He had on black clothing with a black cloak and hood with a mask that looked like an evil skull. His hands were black gloves with bones for fingers that were more than just above-average. His walking stick was black topped with the skull of a ram. Good fantasy costume. Not sure it's really historical but then again as I stated before this is Faire. Most people try to stay accurate but others just go with the fantasy stuff.

We headed out about 5pm. I think seven hours at Faire is plenty for one day but far too little to enjoy everything. We didn't see the Washing Well Wenches, the Poxy Boggards, Merry Wives of Windsor, ANY Shakespeare stuff or MOONie the Magnificent. I'd also like to go to faire next year with about $1000 to spend. There's so much I'd love to buy but we just didn't have the cash and really we couldn't afford Victoria's outfit but I'll make it work. Pay a couple loans double next month.

Anyways that was Faire. Yes I'm a dork for it. No I don't care. I enjoy it so get off me already. I can't breathe. LOL


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