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renaissance faire

The Bay area’s Renaissance Faire is currently running, in a town north of San Francisco near where Chris and Jen now live. With Nancy in town for the weekend (yay!) Nancy and I, with Mark and Deb, headed up to join Chris and Jen at the Faire.

Mark and Deb go to the Faire in full costume, as the Lord and Lady Twaddlesham. Their costumes are very ornate, with a great deal of care taken in the details and ornament. They have often been asked to allow their picture to be taken by other Faire-goers!

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There are several stages at varous places around the Faire, with half-hour shows all day long at each one. We saw several comedic plays in Shakespearean or parody-Shakespearean styles, juggling acts, and this group performing Celtic Step Dances. (This is the style of dance you may have seen on Riverdance on PBS.)

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Here are Mark and Deb, and Chris and Jen enjoying the show (Chris is behind Jen.) Nancy and I were taking advantage of the hay bales that were available for bench seating.

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There are many craftmakers at the Renaissance Faire. Nancy and I watched a demonstration of medieval papermaking, and saw an actual piece of paper from the 1600’s. We also purchased a pottery butter keeper from a shop. It holds the butter upside down in a chamber in the lid. The lid seats down in the base, which has a small amount of water. This seals air out and keeps the butter fresh and soft without needing to be refrigerated. Very ingenious!

At the end of the day, we headed back to the main entrance for the jousting tournament. Four teams of knights in full armor competed in contests of skill with the lance.

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The main event was a direct joust between the two main knights, who rode directly against each other, attempting to knock each other from the saddle with their lances. Of course, the loser did not acknowledge defeat gracefully, instead attacking the victor from behind, leading to a swordfight!

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