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With my dad’s birthday creeping up, I started thinking of potential birthday gifts a bit earlier than usual this year. After a few conversations and tossing around some ideas, the thought of attending a Renaissance Faire came up. We’ve been to a couple before and my dad’s definitely a fan (though not a dress-up-as-a-knight-attend-every-year fan). After doing a bit of research, I wasn’t surprised that the majority of big faires had passed. Good weather would seem an important part of an outdoor festival and the fall is far too unpredictable. As luck would have it though, KVMR’s Annual Celtic Festival was slated to fall the weekend of October 1st, long before my dad’s November 18th birthday, but close enough to make it work.
The festival began in that late 90s and the radio station, KVMR, has continued to host the event annually. It started as a music festival and while music is still a huge component of the faire, it’s now a full-on two-day event complete with loads of vendors, Scottish sports, parades, etc. If you’ve never been to a faire like this before, be warned: these people are hardcore. I’m pretty sure they breed them from a young age. We nabbed four tickets (dad; my sister, T.; my grandma and I) and made our way down Saturday morning to check it out.
Drawing some crowds:
I have to admit, while I expected it to be decent with it’s $40 per person price tag, it definitely exceeded my expectations! The music was great, the people-watching was epic and there were an incredible number of vendors peddling their goods; everything from metalwork and handcrafted jewelry to rapiers, slingshots and homemade mead.
We wandered around for hours, got a few fun pieces of jewelry and noshed on some not-so-authentic cuisine. Admittedly, we were tempted by both the face paint and the henna but opted out… I’m now kind of wishing the face paint would have happened. There were a couple of drink areas set up for people to grab beer, wine and/or mead and while I only had one drink (an obligatory mead), we hit up the beer tent about four times for T. & dad. Even grandma got involved with an Irish coffee.
All in all, I think we had a great time! My grandma, who came along for the experience, was approached by a guy dressed up as Merlin and was thoroughly confused by the whole encounter. She glanced at me for guidance but I was loving it far too much:
While the faire is a two-day event (you can pay for a weekend ticket including camping), I think one day is more than enough to experience everything the festival has to offer. While looking around, I couldn’t help but wonder how people get into this kind of thing. Don’t get me wrong, I think these faires are kind of fun on occasion, but I honestly wonder how the regulars get into this scene.
Anyone else hit up the Celtic Festival?
Any other ones going on that I should know about?
xoxo from California,