Every couple of years, my family and I get to the Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire. I always find it an interesting experience with the mix of crafts for sale, entertainment, fortune tellers, artisans at work, and colorful costuming.
Those, who run the faire, dress and talk appropriate to the 1500s as best they know it. One booth rents costumes, but it seems each year more of the attendees come dressed up and having fun with their choices. A lot of time, money and thought goes into those costumes. When I was arriving, a wild looking bunch of Highlanders, in plaid pants and with swords were just ahead in the line.
Although I am not one who has been into Medieval times, sometime it would be fun to go in costume.-- play pretend and for a few hours be someone else. Since the usual garb for the Elizabethan wealthier classes involves rich brocades, heavy fabrics, many layers of clothing, not to mention corsets, if I do dress up, it'll likely be as a gypsy-- poorer but cooler.
The faire is currently being held on farmland, alongside a river, with timbered hills as a backdrop which makes it feel very authentic as well as picturesque. If you didn't have a field full of automobiles and an emergency vehicle parked alongside, you might almost convince yourself you had stepped back in time... almost.
While entertainment can be bagpipes, belly dancing, juggling, anything that might have been done back then, the highlight is the tournament which involves sword fighting and jousting. This year the group putting that on came from Seattle and had women as a part of the sword fighting and horsemanship skill events-- in everything but the actual jousting. Despite the fact the tournament is for entertainment, jousting is obviously an event that requires a great deal of strength, dexterity, and can be dangerous.
This faire is one sponsored by the Society for Creative Anachronism, which has information online for anyone interested. They meet regularly throughout the year, some have their weddings at their various gatherings, and from what I have read, many feel the 1500s is the time they would have most liked to live-- or perhaps the past life for which they have the most affinity. We also have such gatherings of mountain men and many of those people do feel they were born over a hundred years too late.
My grandson, who is two, left with a big smile, a dragon stick horse, a wand given to him by a strolling wizard (carved from a branch) and a peacock feather. Not sure where he got that. I left with some nice photographs, time spent with happy people, a full stomach (burrito renamed gypsy fare), and memories of a sunny afternoon enjoying the diversity of people and their interests.