I attended the Ohio Celtic Fest which was held on the site of the Ohio Renaissance Festival in Waynesville, Ohio. It was a blast. So. Many. Kilts. All of the Irish/Scottish music at different sites along the festival grounds. It was amazing. I heard one of my fave bands there for the first time Red Hot Chili Pipers (yes, spelled correctly – bagpipe cover band). But I have never been to a traditional Ren Fair.
When I think Renaissance Festival my mind does not immediately go to West Virginia. I was pleasantly surprised when Ben told me there would be one close to Lewisburg. It is a bit of a drive for me (just under three hours) but I would not miss their inaugural event!
Their website is here: http://wvrenfest.com/
A few things about the location itself: as you travel along a winding gravel road you start to think, “Holy crap, where has my friend sent me?” And then the building appear over the hill. The building of the structures is not complete, however, it is finished enough to set up and enjoy a festival. You can tell that once the building and walls are finished that this will be quite enchanting.
I love that there is a winding road around the property to make you feel like a traveler in the medieval times. It added a nice touch to the location. And along the way there were a few vendors selling their wares (wire jewelry, gems, tarot readings, food, beer, etc).
Next year I will come in costume! I give props to Ben and Romin who did just that this year!
We arrived just in time for the first joust of the day. Knights in full armor in 93 degree heat. Props.
SHORT vid of the joust: ERWZ4615
We meandered around the property, taking the time to do archery, throw some knives and chuck an axe. Or, in my case, repeatedly released the axe too soon and thereby bouncing it off the roof of the booth.
Romin was recruited to stand in as a second to a pirate who needed backup while fighting an Italian pirate! (Side note: that little gypsy girl was GORGEOUS!).
Vid of the Pirate Dude being funny:
I fee sorry for the four fingered man who can never adequately show his angle driving…
There were unicorns, mermaids, fairies and all sorts of Nuns and Hipster Knights…
The second jousting match we watched from the hill. It was more intense with people being knocked from their horses, sword fights and a chariot. The drummer – again…props.
There was a seer who read mine and Mander’s tarot cards. She told us both interesting things. For my takeaways: Burning Tower money pit. Alex is Sheldon and Mander is Mushy. Just let him go, he will make lots of money. Daddy and the Child are with me always. They didn’t know each other here but they work together for me now. I should visit China. I am a fixer, I need to stop that. In regards to my health – I have to figure out how to do it differently now. Pentacles.
This kid. Let me just tell you… He made the whole experience a million times greater. He is Black Panther, King of Wakanda but like Clark Kent, he appears to be a kid named Romin when not in his mask and suit…
Story One: He was talking to a fairy and she asked about what kind of ruler he is. A Merciful One. There was this one time when he was challenged by someone else and they battled on top of a waterfall (he starts speaking with excitement and intensity) and he had him there, this challenger, with his head over a waterfall. But, instead of killing him, he was merciful. He let him go. The Fairy asked “Was this in your present life or a previous life.” And with an air of nonchalant, he replies: “Previous. They made a movie about it.”
He made me a Dame and Mander and Alex were knighted. Alex was his second. He never let him forget it as he gave him tasks to perform like heading out the group of three through the maze…
Story Two: He had been looking forward to seeing the king of this kingdom in person. Finally, close to the end of the day I saw him walking along the road and called to Romin who quickly jumped up on the rock just behind me to speak to him. I think that by getting on the rock and becoming eye-level with this other king, the King of Wakanda felt that he was on equal ground. I explained to the king that this was the King of Wakanda and he exchanged niceties. This other king then (without thinking) said “If you come down to (gesture over there) I can knight you at 3:00 PM. The look of bafflement crossed the King of Wakanda’s face as he made a gesture to himself and then the king and then to himself (kind of mano a mano gesture) and says “This is a king speaking to a king.” After the other king left I asked the King of Wakanda if he would consider taking over this land. He told Mander no, he has too much on his plate right now. He really is a merciful ruler… chuckle.
I watched as he received a pearl from a Mermaid, a gem and fairy magic (aka glitter) from a Fairy and was over the moon about having his picture taken with a Jedi Master Dog. He pet a unicorn and turned down a ride on an elephant. He shot a few arrows too.
I tell you all of that to tell you this: kids are great at imagination. If you have one, are an auntie/uncle to one or know people who have one – take them to these kinds of events! It is fun to watch their interactions, especially when they display the sense of intellect like Romin. And politeness. I have to mention his politeness. While we were waiting at the knife throwing booth, the vendor told Ben he liked his mask. He told Romin he loved Black Panther. Romin told him “You look good too.” It is not often that I see a kid that young who realizes the need to repay compliments and to say please and thank you and to include others in their adult-like conversations.
Um – is this Ren Woodstock?
The ribbon climbing women were amazing!
Video of the ribbon dancers:
There were free range chickens everywhere. Smart…they ate the food dropped on the grounds around the food vendors.
Pros: All of it. ($3 beers) The actors were great and did well while staying in character.
Cons: First year grown pains and no shade in the high temps.
I will return next year. I am sure it will be further along in progress and even better.
A link to my Flickr photos from the day can be found HERE
I think I might go to the one in Waynesville OH this fall.
Have you ben to a Ren Faire? Did you enjoy it? I would love to hear about it.