Several weeks ago, I went to the Maryland Renaissance Fair, with my friends Jesse and Christian. We’ve done this now for several years, and I feel like a faire veteran at this point. I know what shows I want to see (The Danger Committee, The Dueling Fools, The Archery Demonstration, The Joust, Fight School) what things I want to look at to buy (Moresca for a bag, Tessem pottery for my chalices and mugs. the Bee Folk for some delicious honey) and finally what things I want to eat (Funnel Cake Fries, smashed potato, Italian ice on an orange half) but the thing which I love the most about the Fair, is the chance to grab some amazing photos. These are SOOC, so I apologize for any over exposing or light imbalance but I think they came out rather well.
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Now, onto the prettiness!
This is the glass blowers booth, right on the main thoroughfare, and his stuff is always amazing. What’s hanging from the bar there are glass dragons, and glass fish. Both are amazing, not to mention, pricey. But photos are free.
This daring young lady DANGLED over head, usually upside down from her hoop. She was amazing, if a bit nauseating at times because she had no safety or guide wire. I kept praying “Jesus, please don’t let that young idiot fall” every time I saw her.
It’s fun to watch people do a ‘double take’ with the invisibility cloak and any time someone picked it up off the rack and the bells jingled the store owner would call out “You do know that won’t work with clothing, right? Must be in your birthday suite to wear it properly” and it would be promptly returned to the rack.
There’s always fantastic music at the fair, stringed instruments, period groups, and bag pipes (thankfully not too many of them this time)
But the best place for pictures is always, always, always, the Joust. They have three parts to it: there’s the “Turk’s Head” where they have to gallop past a post and hit a marker off with the flat of their sword, the “Quintain” which is a weighted shield, if they hit it wrong it swings a bag of sand and knocks them off the horse, and then finally full on “Lance Passe” where they actively ride towards one another, hoping to score points for either a touch or a lance break. No one want to unseat anyone, it’s far too dangerous. So first up, a look at the “Turks Head” passes.
He got it as well! Now mind, they are riding at full gallop past the target, guiding the horse, and are sitting in full plate armor in those saddles. Just amazing when you think about the skill required. Next up, the Quintain. In the shots I got you’ll see the squires holding the Quintain from moving, that’s because again, no one wants to see a knight unseated.
And here’s at the far end, where the Knight of the White Cross is charging the Quintain again, you see the Squire there, holding shield from moving as the Knight of the White Cross moves in for his chance to strike it. After this, there’s a flurry of activity in the ring because the “Passe with Lances” comes next and there’s some armor changes. Take a peek.
There’s the Knight of the Green and the Gold, suited up for the Passes. This is the most exciting part of the Joust and why I don’t mind sitting in the sun for an hour before it starts, guaranteeing I get good pictures from my spot.
The opposition is getting suited up too, and the horses know, it’s getting close to the time they get their rub down and get to cool off and be pampered. They’re rather frisky by this point.
Everyone is suited, everyone is ready and then. . ..
Such a terrible noise, like thunder, like a cannon-shot, and the squeak of the leather and the clang of the armor and the thud-thud, thud-thud of the great horse hooves in the dirt as pieces of the lances scatter and the Squires scramble to get them out of the way before the next pass.
It’s always over way, way too soon.
The good news is that I have a multi-day pass. The bad news is that I haven’t been back yet so that’s all for now. Hope you enjoyed a look at my day at the faire.
Coram Deo Scribes