"That should be a drink....Renaissance Drizzle. Maybe a gin and tonic slushie?" the slightly sodden vendors in the circus arts tent said as they juggled and demonstrated diablo in the rain. Sunday was that kind of day at ye olde Bristol Renaissance Faire. But even without fair weather, we had a fabulous time revisiting the 1500's.
ChiIL Mama's Top Ten Reasons Ren Faire in Rain Still Rocks
*1 The crowds were down, and we could walk right up to most food and even ye olde flush privies without a wait! The dust and heat were down,
*2 There was something satisfyingly absurd about seeing water balloon acro in a downpour. The overfilled balloons popping on the pre-soaked actors was still amusing. Barely Balanced's new aptly named 2pm "Water Show" was a wet and wild good time. The slippery surfaces made for more of a challenge and they needed a bit of extra stabilization, but that just added to the fun. And ice down the pants is still cold...and funny, in a chilling rain. It was raining enough that I kept my camera packed away, but we highly recommend seeing Barely Balanced!
*3 It was the weirdest rain I've ever seen. It repeatedly rained in very hard, short bursts then cleared, then rained hard and short again all day. When I mentioned to a vendor friend of ours, that I'd never seen it so short and hard and over so fast, a corset clad bar wench passing by laughed and said, "It's like a guy doing it." We laughed at the time, but it got funnier the more I really thought about it.
*4 We ended up seeking shelter in little stores we'd never visited in our decades of doing Ren Faire, and stuck around longer looking at the goods in some of our old favs.
We found secret hidden gardens, licorice & sassafras root beer,
awesome drums, didgeridoos
and wicked cool witch hats, all while dodging the raindrops.
*5 Long haired boys look hotter when wet....Yeah, alright. So do the bald ones.
*6 Whips still light and crack gloriously in the rain. We highly recommend checking out Adam Crack, the fire whip guy, who holds 10 Guiness World Records...
and knows how to open a pop can like no other!
*7 And the kings of Ren Faire...The Swordsmen, are a must see as well, even with their altered casting this season. Guido is "locked in the tower in London for reading ribald love poetry to the queen", so Dirk and Guido's young nephew, Bravo, are entertaining till he can be freed. In actuality, Swordsman David Woolley is recovering from a heart attack, and healing well, but still taking it easy. We like the colorful back story, though! You can follow The Swordsmen on Facebook for health updates and future show info.
Bravo's risen to the occasion admirably. He's like a 1500's Orlando Bloom type in velvet tights and thigh high leather boots. And Dirk and Bravo can play off all the age difference jokes in both directions. Catch 'em while you can. Guido is slated to return by the 2nd week of Ren Faire in Ohio. Huzzah! (It was also raining a bit hard for my good camera to make an appearance, but you can look back in our archives below for years of Swordsmen fun).
Click any or all of these links for our photo filled past features
We were able to shoot the bulk of their show, including stilts, accordian, fire eating, sword swallowing, juggling and duo diablo, before the drizzle became a deluge.
But the short, hard rains came just in time to make their grand finale extra challenging. No more spoilers. Come see the show for yourselves, or you'll just have to wonder...
*9 Giant waffle cones and mile high chocolate crepes are just as tasty under an umbrella!
*10 Bravo for the brave--Rain adds an extra element of misery and danger to aerial arts, acro and wire work!
Huzzah to the performers who brave pelting rains, fire & ice, machetes, knives and swords, slippery tightropes, and bodily harm for our amusement.
Also, huzzah to my brave and awesome 9 year old daughter who broke her permanent front tooth on Saturday, doing a Chinese Pole demo for a circus open house. Her hands slipped and she did a face plant right into a metal pole, braved the dentist, and despite a fair amount of pain, she was up for a visit to Ren Faire the very next day. Instead of hiding out, embarrassed, she rocked her gap toothed grin, proudly declaring it as an extra Renaissancie touch to her costume!! We'll get her patched up with porcelain next Saturday when the root's calmed down. Then she'll have a self proclaimed "bathtub tooth".
Bristol Renaissance Fair runs one last 3 day weekend, Labor Day Saturday through Monday. Come on out and play while you can.
Be sure to snag discount coupons at Walgreens before you go. Also, check out Bristol Ren Faire's main site right here, for advanced tickets, specials and must see events. Then head out of town and back in time for some merry olde adventures at Bristol Renaissance Faire. The fair runs through Labor Day Monday, then there's a special 25th anniversary bash September 14th & 15th this year. Huzzah!! This year, for the first time, Bristol is also opening it's two day cast party to the public. The fair will be packed up, but food and drinks will be plentiful.