|How about a Renaissance Faire? Renaissance in those costumes, please!|
|The afore-mentioned photographer, Paul Bakas, taking a selfie the hard way.|
|And he juggles too - ten feet off the ground|
|Is this Steamed Punked enough?|
|All sorts of revelers were on hand - from various centuries|
|A tired but still fighting Black Knight wanted to know the same thing...|
We truly believe though the actual beginning of what today is known as the Renaissance Faire began in Southern California. In 1963 a schoolteacher by the name of Phyllis Patterson, along her husband Ron, put on a small faire in her backyard in Laurel Canyon as a class activity. It caught on and they conducted a one weekend fundraiser for radio station KPFK in Los Angeles - and thus the living history of the Renaissance was born. As the years went by the Patterson's expanded the themed weekend due to all the attention they were receiving both locally and nationally. Soon, Renaissance groups were multiplying and through the decades there are dozens upon dozens of groups who build imaginary English villages from the deserts of California to the green forests of Vermont.
|Looks like a small English village, even with a traveling juggler|
|Crazy Dutchman (his words, not ours) trying to get us to sing in harmony|
|Ready for battle|
This actually followed the original jousting matches held in England during the time of the Renaissance. Knights would meet at the King's request to hold festivals and conduct death defying acts of bravery. Charging at an opponent on the back of a horse with a staff made of pointed wood does seem rather brave or rather stupid. In the eyes of the beholder one would assume. We think the latter is more accurate. Anyway, the contests would go on for a day or more and prizes would be awarded by the monarch to the eventual winner - usually the last man standing. And here we were in twenty-first century about to watch a re-enactment of the festivities held over six hundred years ago or longer.
Of course, the Lady of the Day had to come out and thrill the crowds upon her beautiful mount. The contests could only start after her grand entrance and exit. Grace was the only word that could describe the moment she entered the arena.
What a beautiful moment between horse and rider
|The Red and White Knight - Our Champion!|
The Blue and White Knight
|The Black Knight getting ready to finish the Blue and White Knight|
After the crowds dispersed from the jousting arena it was time to wander through the village taking photos and looking for the next entertainment. Of course, that called for a call at the pub for a Dragon's Blood and a stout mead.
|Laureen, admiring the action.|
|If there's a stage, then J is at home delivering his thoughts.|
...and of course, there's always time for shopping...
|And finally the pub - it was rather warm and humid- a needed health break|
|A moment of Cheesecake for the ladies in the audience|
One unbelievable performer was the acrobat who joked with the crowd while literally standing on his head ten feet above the ground on thin posts stuck into a metal table. He relayed how he and he had started in gymnastics at the age of five and now traveled the world performing for crowds. One of the strangest tricks, to say the least, was when he tugged a tennis racket over his entire body. A guy of normal height and weight going through 'Spalding' - it couldn't be done! It was one of those moments that the fans were wondering - 'how the heck is he doing this?"
Snaking his body through a tennis racket - minus the strings
|Oh Come On! Must be a trick - nope, it wasn't|
Another performer was just as talented but in a different billing. A sword swallower - people really do that? Yes they do and it is not for the faint of heart to watch a fully grown man swallow a three foot sword. Well, he only swallows it up to the hilt - but still? He stated that he has conquered the gag reflex - good starting point - and then moves certain intestines so the point of the sword does not pierce anything important. And here we thought everything in our gut was important.
|That is disgusting and dangerous - talk about heart burn!|
Well, one never knows what one will find at a Renaissance Faire but what the traveling explorers discovered only an hour away was a day full of fun and awe inspiring talent. Again, to find and enjoy the world around, one only has to look in their backyard. We did on this weekend and are very glad we did.
|Who needs music when you have the right partner?|
|And thus ends this latest adventure.|
For further information concerning the Renaissance Faire in Big Bear, California: