GET THEE TO THE BRISTOL RENAISSANCE FAIRE
LET'S PARTY LIKE IT'S 1599, Y'ALL
Heaux my god, I could not get my corset and pirate boots off fast enough to tell you about the Bristol Renaissance Faire right over ye' olde border in Wisconsin! HAVE YOU BEEN TO THIS MAGICAL PLACE? I went with my kid, my mom, my aunt, my brother, his wife, and their kids. GOT IT? That's who was there. And we got there late because we went to visit our ninety-something great-aunt in Racine first. So that was the mood: post-hospice, arriving late when you're a beat-the-crowd-get-there-early kind of family, and my mom recently had her hips replaced so she's peering out from under a gigantic North Face Fly Fisherman Hat at these paths and trails like HELL NO and gritting her teeth. That was the mood.
We fought our way to the ticket counter and Meemaw's like, WHAT THESE TICKETS ARE $27?!?!?!?!?!? and I thought she was gonna lose it for real but then, like outta a damn movie, a PARADE SHOWED UP and everybody was cheered.
This put ya girl IN A MOOD. I was totally pumped. Two dudes came by in the same horse costume. Like they were both in there, they were so stupid. People had spears. COSTUMES. COSTUMES. COSTUMES. I love costumes. And it was like a million people in this parade. I couldn't wait to get inside.
Almost immediately after entering, my aunt saw some delicious looking donuts go by and she was like YASSSS PLEASE. So she approached a man in full Renaissance outfit--cloak, velvet pants (AHAHAHAHA), golden jewels, and this is the conversation that ensues:
Aunt: "Excuse me, where do we get some of those donuts?"
Velvet Friar: "Oh, I don't work here."
Aunt <<laughing and patting him on the arm>>: "Ha! But really, where are the donuts?"
Velvet Friar: "I seriously don't work here."
AND THAT'S THE RENAISSANCE FAIRE.
There are shows, jousting, comedy, whips, swords, but really the people watching is OFF THE CHAIN PAY $27 FOR THAT. It's almost impossible to tell who's just a Renn Faire tourist and who's a theater kid home on summer break trying to make a buck off their art. If I had to describe the Renn Faire to you in one photo:
I LOVE IT.
Like I said we got there late, so we knew we weren't going to see even a quarter of what the faire had to offer before we had to take our butts back to Chicago, so if you want to know about everything that's on all the stages, you're gonna have to go here. But trust me, I saw enough stuff to tell you with authority, GET THEE TO THE FAIRE BEFORE IT CLOSES DOWN ON SEPT 4.
Dude, there's a guy who built his entire life around WHIPS--
First of all, do you know why whips make that cracking sound? ME EITHER. But thanks to our boy Adam Crack, I now know it's because they BREAK THE SOUND BARRIER. I don't fully know what that means but I think it's that they're traveling really fast? Here, read about it on Wikipedia. Well, you guys, Adam Crack holds nine Guiness World Records in whipping (lol) and tells some real stupid dad jokes that the crowd LOVES. He also sprayed a lot of Axe Body Spray around as a gimmick, and as gimmicks go, it was one I could get behind. My kid was into it, families everywhere were into it, Adam Crack lit his whip on fire and just look at him, that's something you want to see IRL.
We saw another show with a wacky comedian clown sort of dude that did a lot of whistling and hand gestures in place of speech. My brother thought he was hilarious. My mom kept catching my eye like HUH. And my kid kept saying, can we go now? The dude had some funny jokes, but also like an attitude and solicited money at the end which was sort of lame. So, skip this one?
Just walking around the fair you never know what treasures you might find! Check this out--
We were waiting in line to go on an old timey, Leonardo Da Vinci themed, merry-go-round (human powered because no electricity in the Renaissance, y'all), when right over there these people with weird cricket-mallet type swords start arguing and this chick fell to the ground. My sister-in-law, who's a teacher, is on high alert and I AM DYING and fumbling around on my phone trying to get a picture. My SIL is like, do you think everything's ok?? And I'm like, GIRL OBVIOUSLY NOT THIS IS THE WORST IMPROV I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE AND I LIVE IN CHICAGO.
I loved it so much. They were just like randomly making art. The dialogue was so stilted and terrible and ridiculous that it was good all over again.
But what you really want to know about is THE FOOD. Yes there are giant turkey legs! You know there are! There's liquor! There's fried stuff. There's a chick walking around with a giant stick with thousands of soft pretzels hanging off of it. (We got one, it was cold. Prob because she was walking around with them on a stick.) Curly fries! The donuts auntie was looking for--
And are there souvenirs, you ask? YES! Don't worry, they've got gift shops for the kids with just the right old-timey treasures of your dreams! We bought this spear for $13. And it hasn't left the trunk of my car since!
I know, now you're worried you're not going to fit in at the fair because you don't know anything about the Renaissance and you don't have a knight outfit. NEVER FEAR the costume shops are LIT. You can spend hundreds of dollars on your own velvet pants, or you can even rent them for the day! Next year I'm getting there early AF so I can wear my killer Renn lewk, ALL DAY, leave my kid at home, swipe on ye olde Tinder until I find the friar of my dreamzzzzz.
Seriously, I love this place so much and I want to go with you next year. And! If you want to be real hard core (I DO) then let's go to the most amazing shop in Chicago EVER -- Lost Eras -- and get our outfits early.