Golden Gate Renaissance Festival

On August 17, 2008, I drove to a bus stop, and rode to Golden Gate Park for its Golden Gate Renaissance Festival. Though it was mid-summer, I'd forgot that Golden Gate Park is frequently overcast. The day was brisk and I was under-dressed in pants and a t-shirt. While I wrote that statement simply meaning I should've worn warmer clothes, it's also true that this fair had a higher percent of people dressed up than others I've attended. Indeed, perhaps half the crowd was in costume. I felt a little out of place.

Over the course of the festival, I caught a variety of shows: a knife juggler, a show with many macaw bird tricks and lots of bird puns, a magic show with both adult and kid humor, and a surprisingly good-quality belly dancing troupe of older women. They knew how to move--it was certainly one of the best belly dancing performances I've ever seen. I also loved, as always, the costumes and dancing of Danse Macabre as they wound their way down the streets. Finally, near the entrance gates, some people played human-sized chess, and looked like they were having a lot of fun doing it.

I ate a polish sausage and a chocolate-and-banana crepe, both tasty. Though I wasn't intending to get one, I was surprised to notice turkey legs weren't available.

As for the shops, there was the usual renfair stuff. Something about the atmosphere may have enticed me to buy clothing if I could've had a second opinion and encouragement from a friend. Also, I thought about wooden and pewter mugs. I admired pewter figurines, especially those made by Wicked Things (and, of those, especially the tree candlestick-holders and the dragon statues). I glanced at countless weapons. And, last but not least, I bought an uncracked geode. Let's see how lucky I am.

There were many guilds (basically social groups) at the fair. Each had its own area in which to hang out. Some were recruiting new members. A few groups played a four-foot-high version of jenga. One played jenga with swords, allowing players to only use their sword tips to push each block out. Neat. I watched all this with some envy; it seemed like a nice place to be, a nice activity to do, with like-minded friends.

One guild gave free fencing lessons, which I briefly contemplated taking. I contemplated paying to use the archery range for longer, but decided to skip it. I had enough of the fair and simply wanted to be home and comfortable.

No comments: