Roxanne Bruscha, Lead Vocalist of Wine & Alchemy, Veil Spinning
(Click for a change of picture)
Attended the always entertaining Scarborough Faire RENFEST this weekend in Waxahachie, TX for the first time in many, many years. Last time we went we met up with celtmanx and his wife (and there's some debate whether or not my wife and I spent our anniversary at a nearby Bed & Breakfast that same weekend or not) on a rather hot Texas day. NOT THIS TIME!
This year the weather was absolutely perfect, so we spent a good six or seven hours on the grounds. Myself, my wife, my wife's mother, my clone, my clone's mother, and our two kids; who are old enough now to enjoy the event. They must've spent half their time watching the comedy shows on one of the many engaging outside venues.
My daughter, waterballoon at the ready, for when improv goes bad
I really just kinda eased into it this year, enjoying the festive dance and sounds of the fest as well as the renaissance setting and aromas which infiltrate these fairs. But most of all the costumes.
While my daughter was getting her face painted my wife and I both noticed faeries descend upon one of the gates which announced entrance into another part of the park. We didn't know who they were or why they were there, but they are very good at watching those of us with cameras, their frozen smiling pose always at the ready.
Pirates and Scotsmen and yes, even faeries were everywhere
My personal favorite of the entire day was the world fusion show put on by Wine & Alchemy - Belly dancing, singing, and original music on period instruments. I was unfamiliar with the hurdy-gurdy and the harmonium, and though I'd never actually heard a sitar, I recognized it immediately and was drawn to its middle eastern sound as well as the Mediterranean beats which accompanied the song and dance.
I went back for a second show, and at some point everyone else in my family joined me, enjoying it as much as I did. We are now the proud owner of all three of their CDs :)
Mark Varelas, Head Composer of Wine & Alchemy, plays the sitar
The food wasn't as absurdly priced as it is as Six Flags, and actually pretty good authentic stuff too. I heard one wench who couldn't count change bragging that there were seven taverns open this year, but her point was lost on every one of us who stood more than 10-minutes in line for a beer - though I couldn't argue with their selection. Some very good ales and the like on tap.
At one point we were approached by two men in character claiming to be heralds of the Baron Of Bahookie looking for the next heir to the Barony, and after a series of questions which my bemused children answered, claimed their search was finally over for they had found me. It was quite entertaining to the point I was struck dumb, which furthered everyone's amusement.
The Baron of Bahookie's Heralds
My wife and clone started assembling their attire for the "next" fair - we have one more scheduled at the end of the month in Texarkana, but then I found that one of the largest in the nation was just north of Houston...in the fall. THINK OF THE WEATHER! And you wouldn't believe how many people were wearing utilikilts there - or maybe you would - so many in fact that it boggles the mind how out-of-place I felt wearing an outergarment with leg-holes.
A couple of days before the fest however, we all shod ourselves in new Merrell multi-function sandals. No matter what I end up wearing when/if I eventually immerse myself into RENFAIRE garb, my costume will always consist of Merrell footwear!
Wife & Clone
I had a good time. Everyone was in a festive mood, there was little stress and the kids behaved exceptionally, something I thanked them for at the end of the day.
What a wonderful day to spend with family. There was so much to see and do we couldn't fit it all in a single day. Maybe next time we'll make an entire weekend out of it. My boy got an enormous, ornately decorated wooden sword and my daughter a similarly equipped dagger. In fact when we walked through the gates her face lit up and she announced, "Its just like Age of Empires daddy!"
I taught my clone how to play the very next day.