Monday, September 6, 2010

Growing Up and Moving On

Today I went to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.

When I was a teenager, I absolutely loved Fest. It was my favorite time of year. My first job was out there, and I started working there when I was only 14 years old. I sold disgusting potato skins with cheese sauce and bacon bits. I counted out change and shouted "Huzzah! Twenty pounds for the king!" any time someone handed me a $20 bill. I spoke in a bad English accent. I loved it. I lived for it.

It was hard work - that I can't deny. I learned a lot about life (though not much at all about the actual Renaissance period) and even more about working for a living.

But, to be honest, it was more fun than anything. I got to hang out with other Fest devotees. I got to see all the acts. I learned how to juggle (and I still can). I watched the glass blower and the falconer and the jousting. I rode an elephant and ate a turkey leg. Maybe the best part was that i got to wear a costume - one of those bodices that squished up my boobs and displayed them prominently (though I didn't wear one of those when I was 14 - that came when I was older).

Today was my first trip out to Fest in a few years. Increasing admission cost and just a general lack of time has kept me home. I was kind of excited to get back there.

But once I was there, it just wasn't as exciting as it once was. I wasn't even interested in most of the food. I looked at a lot of jewelry, and other hand-crafted items. They're all very nice, but most of it just isn't my taste anymore. I guess I've grown out of dragons and fairies and swords and amethyst. I did find a few pendants and stones and a pair of earrings, though.

I also enjoyed a couple comedy and juggling shows. I ate beer cheese soup in a bread bowl. That was tasty.

In the end, though, I think I'm done with the Renaissance Festival. It just isn't for me anymore. Those days are behind me.


  1. I think that's interesting, because I've found the exact opposite to be true for me - I've gone to fest pretty regularly for about a decade, but only in the last couple of years have I started going more than once a season. It used to be I'd go once, be exhausted and broke when I got home, and that was enough for the year. These days I'm still exhausted and broke, but I want to go right back. I've even found that I'm able to spend longer days there - rather than pooping out around 3, I want to stay from open to close (if only my rides felt the same).

    I think for me it's because there are fewer and fewer opportunities for me to really let my nerd flag wave, so it feels great to be able to go all out. When I was at Macalester, I could be as nerdy as I wanted to be and no one cared. IHStrategies I had to reign that in a lot, and law school I have to constantly be aware of how I'm presenting myself. It's not that I don't appreciate it, but it's still tiring as all get out.

  2. Last weekend was my wife and I's first trip to Ren Fest. We had a lot of fun and will definitely be back next year. I enjoyed shopping [at the cigar tent]. Prices seemed kind of high in general.

    I can see how it would be a blast to work there, but returning as a "civilian" would be a let down.

    We couldn't believe how dirty our feet got though. It was like a little added touch of authenticity, that we could do without.

  3. I haven't been to the Ren Fest in many years but was thinking of going back this year. I wonder how it will be? I was never a huge lover of it but enjoyed our time.