Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Arizona Renaissance Festival

If you're a Game of Thrones fan, doesn't she kind a remind you of Melisandre? Only she's not.  She's one of those street women!
 Calling ALL Arizona residents!!!  Here Ye Here Ye!!!  The Arizona Renaissance Festival is in full swing! I'm not one for street fairs or most fairs, but this one is special.  Have you ever read a medieval book and wondered what it was like to live during the times of Kings and Queens?  Today we take a trip back in time to experience what it was like to be a villager during the time known as Renaissance.
 I was a bit leary of it all.  I had never been, but I had heard it was a lot of fun.  After a weekend of hiking and exploration along the Riparian corridor of the San Pedro river, I wasn't sure what to expect.  Was this going to be another place of overpriced food and crowded with a billion people?  Well yes.  But surprisingly, the road trip up through the wildflower show along the highway and sunny bright skies made for a fun road trip.  And guess what?  The overpriced food and crowded fair wasn't bad at all!  Why?  Because there was a lot going on for different people all around the grounds.  It was around 22 bucks to get in, but you can pre purchase your tickets at Fry's Grocery Store for 18 dollars.  Parking is free at the event.  Just be careful around the traffic area as it can get congested.
 With an open mind, I saw a bird flutter.  Then 2!  What was this?!!  A bird show? YES! We were off to a good start. To make it even better, there were owls!!!  That's when I realized that the day was going to be a lot of fun.  And it didn't disappoint one bit.  We heard wonderful music, fantastic reenactments of a jousting competition, and excellent side shows.....just like they did back in the day when street performers were....well....street performers.
 What I enjoyed most was that there were times when I felt like I was in one of my books.....and I actually experienced the feeling of heckling others or watching street performers make a mistake here and there.  It was interesting and enriched my knowledge of the descriptions created in novels like the Game of Thrones.
 Color and design.  Everywhere you went, you could see unique signs and fabrics that would have been sold on the streets of the past.  I imagined villages along oceans or rivers where pirates, royalty, commoners, farmers, vendors, knights......all intermingled together.  And it made realize how complicated human society was back then.....and continues to be today.
 On a break between events and a little respite from the hot desert sun, we found a grove of shade trees where a harpist and a mound of grass awaited for us to plant our butts. If I could learn 3 instruments in my life, it would be the violin, Spanish guitar, or harp.  Why?  Because they're cool.:)
 There were acrobats, gymnists, comedians(like a pair of funny nuns), puppeteers, and plenty other performers to keep one's attention throughout the day. It seemed like fire was used often in a lot of the performances(which made for great photography).
 Barely Balanced performed and entertained crowds with their borderline adult humour and fire acts. They were very funny and made the audience laugh. One of the performers hails from my university!!!  Stevens Point!  What a small world we live in! And what an awesome place to learn stuff!
 The Fair will go on until April 1st and it's a great place to go with friends, family and loved ones.  Parents and Grandparents, while the event is family friendly, do check with performances before attending.  A lot of the talk is double entendre and will fly over your kids' head, but if you have a kid like my nephew Nolan, there may be a lot of questions:) But I have a feeling the fire will distract:)
 The shows will run throughout the day until 5 PM.  The gate closes at 5:45 and the crowds start filtering out at around 5 PM. There is a schedule for the day's events so that you maximize your visit.
 I liked the images.  I like the feel of it all.  But mostly, it made me glad I went.  Why have I never gone before?  I suppose when I hear the word "fair" I think BORING!  And if you're like me and hate FRIED FOOD or turkey legs, don't worry.  They offer other kinds of foods as well.  I had a delicious crepe, some raspberry mead, and taco salad during the day.
 There is a little something here for everyone.  For birders.  For gardeners. For history aficionados.  For people who like the Arizona sunshine.  I highly recommend this outing.  I had been secretly hoping for a pic with Twig the Fairy.  Upon our exit, she was standing there.  I watched as kids approached her.  It was absolutely adorable.  If you could have seen the children's faces......priceless.  In fairy character, she didn't speak.  But she did play her flute and it made me smile and think of Fairy Gardens and Fireflies. 
I did have my picture taken.  I'm a bit red from the sun so bring some sunblock.  I wore a hat all day, but I took it off for this picture.  What a way to end the day:)  And let's not even talk about the beautiful Arizona sunset on the way home! You can check that out below:)
The Renassaince Fair is around until April 1st on weekends. PS.  I have some exciting news.  My photography will be featured in a published book on UNESCO sites next year and I am truly honored to have my work featured.  To see those pics, you just need to visit the posts on my Coiba Island experience or The Forgotten Garden from last year. After the news, I popped open a bottle of Pinot Noir and poured myself a glass. Life is good. The adventure continues tomorrow....


  1. Ce festival me plait et paraît très intéressant, seulement, j'habite un peu loin pour m'y rendre.


  2. Oh Kreesh congratulations for the publication! You owe me a dinner! And that sunset is so awesome! I will look at those winning photos! Have fun.

  3. Congratulations for your photo being selected, i fully understand how proud of your achievement you can be! And yes a good bottle of wine is compulsory to celebrate then, as a French I think this is THE thing to do!
    Great post about this festival, so colourful and fun! I think that in he recent years people worldwide have revived the tradition of street entertainment!

  4. This is some great photos. What a lot of fun that would have been to attend.

    Cher Sunray Gardens

  5. What a great post Chris. All the colour, excitement and fun of the fair shine through your photos and narrative.

    Many congratulations too on the wonderful news that your photos are going to be published in a book of photos of UNESCO sites.

  6. i have been to the one held an hour or so south of Dallas before. have to get in the spirit of things.

    UW-Stevens Point? small world. :)

  7. I attended this in MN. for the first time last summer. It was really enjoyable. Your pictures capture it so very well.

    Congratulations on the publication of your photos. How exciting and well deserved!

    Your photo of the sunset is stunning.

  8. Congratulations.....what a fantastic serie pictures with nice light, colors and people..... i love this work very much.

    And the last one is EXCELLENT !!

    warm greetings from Holland, Joop

    thanks for your nice comments.

  9. Looks like a great day out - with sunshine and a sunset, that's even better.

  10. Oh what a fun time that must have been. The costumes are awesome. I love the setting sun at the end.

  11. Brilliant work of a beautiful carnival.

  12. Congratulations on your achievement!


Thanks for stopping by!