Well, it wasn’t actually Johnny Depp, but a guy was prancing around as the character at the Renaissance festival of Harveysburg, OH. I also saw a couple of gypsys, multiple fairies, and time travelers, many with their own shops.
Photo via renfestival.com
When I was in the sixth grade I was knighted. No, I didn’t go to England to see the queen mother. My middle school History teacher held a mock ceremony in our cafeteria for anyone who wanted to take an oath. Since I was obsessed with the movie Quest for Camelot and wanted to be main character Kayley, I jumped at the opportunity. My teacher entered the cafeteria wearing a long robe that trailed the floor and a Burger King crown with multiple plastic rings on her fingers. One by one we knelt in front of her as she placed a metal sword on each shoulder, inciting our duties, and serving us bread and cheese.
Shortly after, we took a field trip to the popular Renaissance festival in Texas (I wish I remembered the city but I was pretty young and didn’t pay too much attention). My mom and I had fun watching tourists try to stick juggle (which is like real juggling only with 3 wooden sticks) and eat meat kebabs. My favorite part was watching a jester balance on top of a ladder, and seeing hawks up close in a falconry show.
Sixteen years later, I wanted to refresh my memory, despite being too poor to dress in a costume. Just like the Renaissance festival of Texas, I witnessed audience members being humiliated by wenches on a stage. I was overjoyed to walk into an apothecary, sensing my ailments vanishing with every whiff. This time it was also 90 degrees and every inch of my skin sweated. My boyfriend paid for us to see the Death Tower, which showed us every possible torture device used in ancient times; fascinating and also nauseating. We watched a demonstration of glass blowing and ate a giant turkey leg. Unfortunately I got sick on the turkey leg shortly after and we had to go home, but I still had fun for the day.
Photo via 365cincinnati.com
While I have mostly grown out of my medieval interest, I still recommend visiting this festival. Even if you’re not completely into it (I’ve never been a fairy fan) and don’t have any money to buy the outrageously expensive merchandise, it’s still cool to experience a big part of our historical Renaissance past.