Remember yesterday, when I was headed to the Tennessee Renaissance Festival? Yeah, it was pretty epic. And one of the stranger experiences of my life! My friend Chelsea and I were in awe of the entire thing.
But let’s back up. I picked Chelsea up from her high school’s graduation downtown (she’s a teacher), and after a minor missing-key-snafu causing Chelsea to not be able to get into her house to change shoes or grab her wallet, we headed out to the festival. It is located in Arrington, TN, which is southeast of Nashville (you take the highway to Franklin and then go east). So it was a little bit of a haul to get out there!
Our day didn’t start off on the right foot, and it got a little worse before it got better unfortunately – we had to wait in line for tickets in the blazing sun for 40 minutes! While hungry. And if you know me at all, you know that I am
a raving lunatic not pleasant when hungry. But luckily, we eventually made it inside, into the shade of the forest.
We made a beeline for the food tent as soon as we saw it. Chelsea went for fish and chips (I figured I was going to have enough of those next month!) and I got a spinach pie. Nothing like a good stop for fair food!
Once we had been fed, we headed off to find our friends Alex and Erin. They had already been there for a few hours, and were off watching some knife throwing show. After meeting up with them, we decided to wander – and this is where the sights really began!
Not only were there actors dressed in period costume, but there were also just normal festival-goers dressed in costume! It was totally strange. The weekend was even pirate-themed, so there were Captain Jack Sparrows mixed in amongst the “regular” Renaissance folk. We saw fairies, trolls, kings and queens, vikings, peasants, pirates – it was quite the experience. Some whole families were there, all dressed in costume together.
Along the way, we stopped to peek in a few booths. My favorites were the ones selling the costumes. One booth even had elf ears for sale!
And we spied a booth with bows and arrows for sale, under the tagline “May the odds be ever in your favor”. Of course I had to stop and pretend to be Katniss.
We spent the afternoon wandering from booth to booth, with the occasional stop at a stage to take in a show. The washing well wenches were particularly funny – they spent the first half “searching the male audience members for ticks” (aka stripping/molesting them) and then they sprayed the audience with water. Luckily we were near the back!
Late in the day we wandered past a booth that had a really cool item on display…
The Thacker family coat of arms! I had to stop and text my cousins immediately – they were thoroughly impressed. I think they would have been even more impressed were they still 10 and 12, and not 16 and 18. Oh well!
After watching an improv show, we noticed that things were starting to wind down. Thunder starting rumbling and we decided it was time to make our exit! Apparently it had poured in Nashville earlier, but luckily it stayed dry in Arrington. That would have been a long run through the woods to our car if it started raining!
We drove back to town, and headed over to Chelsea and Alex’s house for a little homemade fajita/taco night. By about 8:30, I was exhausted – a day out walking around in the sun and heat really does a number on you! I headed home and crawled into bed.
Today, I’ve got a lazy day of work, church, a few chores, and maybe some pool time ahead of me. Just what I needed after the fun of yesterday! Would I go to another Renaissance fest? Maybe not. But I sure am glad that I have seen one! It was quite the adventure.