Medieval Fantasy Festival

On Sunday, April 19, 2009, I drove to Vacaville, a town two-thirds of the way to Sacramento, for the Medieval Fantasy Festival. It turned out to be a cross between a street festival and a Renaissance Faire.

I took an assortment of pictures of the festival and the town. They provide more details about the festival than this post.

The festival was held in downtown Vacaville, an area which felt a bit like Solano Avenue in Berkeley: nice stores, a reasonable walking area, but not as dense as most town's downtowns. It even has plaques denoting historic places and buildings. During the festival, for breaks, I stuck my head in a games shop, browsed an art gallery and voted on its festival-themed art (they were running a contest), and strolled through a nearby park. While walking around, I noticed the crowd was very white. This may be the audience of the festival, but I think it's more likely the demographics of this part of California.

On the Renaissance-Faire aspect of the festival, there were stands selling appropriate art and figures (e.g., garishly painted dragons; I wanted to take a picture of these but didn't get a chance), costumes, real weapons (e.g., swords and daggers), and wooden swords and shields for kids. One person gave lessons on how to make chain mail. I planned to return to that stand later, but ended up feeling too low on energy. There was also a ratapult contest where costumed rat puppets were thrown by catapults--they had two--to see how far they could travel. Finally, the costumes and the performers (see the pictures) fell into the Renaissance vein.

On the street-fair aspect of the festival, there were the usual random vendors for jewelry (there were lots of these), soap, inexpensive art, temporary tattoos, colored tupperware, and even produce-by-mail (CSA). The food vendors were mostly the traditional street-fair variety: sausages, lumpia, kettle corn, funnel cakes, lemonade, etc.

I arrived around noon and left before mid-afternoon because I had seen everything and didn't want to hang out longer--the toasty, sunny heat drained my energy. (Vacaville is an inland town and therefore warmer than the bay area, which itself was unusually warm this weekend.)

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