"Bringest forth thy lamed, leathered one!"
I mean, what?! Really? Nevermind the total non-sequitor to the period, think about the chafing! It was a balmy, sweaty day that Sunday in Crownesville. Seriously, Someone sprinkle this man in Gold Bond immediately...
But I confess, I did not arrive blindly. After informing people the day before of my plan to check out the Festival, I was warned: "Just beware that the Renaissance Festival is one big excuse for people to leave their houses looking like rapists and child molesters."
Indeed, nothing screams cultural rebirth (or rapist/molester) more than a bearded man in leather short-shorts. I assure you I'm joking, however. The only thing this man was blowing was glass. HA! I ZINGETH THEE! To be more precise, he was blowing glass turd swirls.
Just joking again! They're actually cats that just look like turd swirls.
But really, let's get back to the issue in question here: Are people simply ignorant to what the Renaissance period entails or is this Festival simply misnamed?
I'm guessing it's probably a mix of both. There were a few people dressed up in proper period garments (mostly those who worked there), but most of the Festival's attendees who dressed up (or are these their normal clothes?) missed the mark entirely. I can't tell you how many pirates, furries and random men in silk pajamas I saw. At the same time, I can't think of one booth or show at the Festival that exalted the discoveries of the Renaissance. Whereas I wanted to see Copernicus and a telescope, I got Sir-Munch-A-Lot and a churro. Really, the only semi-authentic attractions were the joust (no description needed), the games tent, where some pimply kid with a fake accent will teach you how to play "The Royal Game of Goose," a kind of Chutes & Ladders for adults, and a battle-axe throwing station.
I wore my lumberjack garment specifically for this event.
And despite the near-total authenticity of the above (the Medicis loved flannel), I think calling this event a Renaissance Festival is a stretch. Really, it was more like a Magic the Gathering convention.
Alas, while I may have wanted more velvet hats, pantaloons and feathers, more sonnets, telescopes and frescoes, I still managed to have a good time, that is until all the patchouli-scented hippie pirate goth fairy dust started to make me feel nauseous. Or maybe that was due to the gigantic smoked turkey legs some old man in a dracula cape was selling out of a cooler.
What's more Renaissance than ye olde food poisoning? Nothing!
Summary: If you're craving E.Coli and lots of loosely corseted old-lady boob in your face, don't miss the Maryland Renaissance Festival in Crownsville, Md., running from now until October 24.