Most renaissance festivals opt for the Tudor time period to set their faire, which is always fun (and with eight wives, the various years of King Henry VIII’s reign offer quite a few options), but it’s nice to see deviations from that theme. The 2010 New Jersey Renaissance Festival & Kingdom Queen Guinevere’s Birthday Celebration has opted for a more medieval time period, and even thrown in some of the faerie realm as well. There will be a parade, music, a living chess game, and of course merchants and food vendors of all sorts.
The festival runs every weekend from 11:30 AM to 7 PM, June 19th through June 27th at the Red Mill Museum Village, in historic Clinton, NJ. It’s a bit too far for us to travel, sadly, but maybe next year! If you’re in the area, check it out and let me know how it is.
In case my illustrious readership wasn’t aware, I live in Maryland. I’ve been to faires and fests and events all over the country, but as my time and cash are somewhat limited, I tend to stick relatively close to home more often than not. Thus, I’m somewhat lax about posting about events elsewhere in the country (or the world). Had I world enough and time…
But until I win the lottery or get a huge signing bonus from some record label, you’ll have to content yourselves with a list such as this one posted by the Examiner. It’s a pretty comprehensive listing of renaissance faires and festivals around the US, running now through the end of the year. There are other lists out there, of course: renfaire.com boasts a list of “All the faires of the Americas”, and faires.com describes itself as “Being an extensive guide to renaissance faires and Medieval Festivals and Pirates around the world.”
So if you’re looking for somewhere to get your fairie on some free weekend, check out those lists and see what’s nearby!
I stumbled across this article today about gender roles and how as a culture, we’ve made great strides (though we still have a long way to go) in making it socially acceptable for a woman to wear pants and play with power tools, or be a surgeon, or run a company, but if a man does ballet, or wears pink, or likes flower gardening, then he’s obviously gay. As the author asks, “why is it alright for girls to break out of gender roles and embrace their love of tools or cars or spaceships, but when a boy wants to dress up like Princess Jasmine people are uncomfortable?”
It got me thinking about men and boys in the faerie culture. One of the things I love about the “modern” faerie festival is that it’s very gender-neutral. Sure, there are plenty of pastel princesses with shimmery wings and pretty curls, but there are also male faeries and sprites and goblins and elves and greenmen. It’s more about the connection with nature and the other worlds that touch ours than a specific gender role. The gentleman in the photo above, for example, is someone I’ve seen at just about every local faerie and renaissance festival, though I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never actually chatted with him (I did stumble across his website, though – he and his wife are the proprietors/creators of Mythical Masks and Miscellaneous Oddments, and he frequently posts some interesting articles and musings on his blog) – he always looks wonderful in natural, woodsy outfits.
As promised, I’ve finally gone through and uploaded my pictures from the Maryland Faerie Festival last weekend. The weather was gorgeous, though when the sun was out from behind the clouds it was a little hot. Not a bad spring day, though, all told. I wish I could’ve stayed longer, but alas, I had yardwork calling my name…
On to the pictures! Until I figure out how to insert more than one picture without it completely screwing with the page formatting, my favorites from the day can be found over here on my Picasa site.
Man. Now I wish that I hadn’t already made plans for Halloween this weekend. It turns out that Spoutwood Farm will be holding their first annual All Hallow’s Eve ball up in Pennsylvania this weekend. The promotional poster over on the right promises that it’s going to be “an evening of spooky elegance with the spirits of Spoutwood Farm.” Sure, it doesn’t out right say this is a Faerie event, but Spoutwood Farm’s incredibly well known for this kind of thing. They deserve a little extra press.
There’s going to be some belly dancing, and the awesome tunes of the Gypsy Nomads. You can expect that obvious costume contests, light refreshments, and a cash bar. (Admittedly, I can’t imaging rocking out to Halloween without a bar, but that’s probably just my ale & spirits preference shining through.) Like I said, if I didn’t have plans, I’d totally be there. Now that I know it exists, I’m definitely marking it on my calendar for next year. A year late is better than never, right?
You can pick up your “tickets” online through PayPal, or go through your usual routes for this kind of thing. Instructions for tickets can be found here, over at Livejournal. And while they will take a check if you send it to them — consider that PayPal option. The Faeries like it when we stay green.