If you’re anything like me—and by anything like me, I mean broke as hell—going to Comic Con is still just a dream. But there are so many wonderful alternatives to Comic Con that you can attend this summer. This event might even be right outside your door.
I’m talking about Renaissance Faires.
From lavish costumes, to jousting events, to food bigger than your head, Ren Faires are the cream of the crop when it comes to nerdy summer excursions. Usually running all summer long, Renaissance Faires have a lot to offer: there are shop vendors, mini games, live performances, actors that interact with guests, and food…did I mention food already?
When I was younger and naive, I assumed that Ren Faires were weird gathering spots for people who had their ears surgically altered to look like elf ears. Now I realize that it’s an event for literally everybody. Families go, teens go, cosplayers go; generally, anyone looking to have a fun time goes.
A Renaissance Faire is simply that: a renaissance-themed faire. The activities that happen are based on activities from the era. Everyone that works at the faire is an actor portraying a renaissance character. There’s even a royal court complete with a queen. And the costume—guys, you have no idea. The costumes are so grand and magnificent it’s hard not to stare at them. It’s pretty much dress-up nirvana.
But the coolest part about these actors is that they interact with guests as if they were their characters, even talking in Middle English. Last year we had one of the queen’s guards talk to us for about 20 minutes, and the entire time my friends and I conversed with him, he remained in character. Most of the people that work at the faire are very committed to their individual characters, especially the fairies and imps; these are people that dress in elaborate costumes and make-up and entertain the children that attend. They never speak, but they’re one of the coolest parts of the faire.
Last year I went for the first time. This year, I will be returning in August to the same faire with my friends. If you’re looking for a fun and unique summer experience, then I suggest finding a Renaissance Faire that’s close to our hometown. If you’re interested in finding a Ren Faire that’s close to you, check out The Ren List for a location near you.
Also, I might make a costume for the Ren Faire this year, so stay tuned for that progress!