We went to the Arizona Renaissance Festival this past weekend. It was a blast. The fair is 17 years old now, and they’ve really come a long way even since we started going about 6 years ago.
We met up with some of our friends from Tucson, who we knew from the Arizona Fencing Academy, and toured around. They’re pretty much ren fair fanatics, so they’re also great shoppers. This was the first year Angela and I actually had any money to speak of to spend here. It’s a lot more fun when you don’t have to count every coin you have left.
We did most of our wandering in the morning, the place opened at 10am. It’s late March, and the weather in PHX is already starting to get up there. Fortunately it was overcast that day, so we weren’t too bad. It still got up into the high 90s though. We saw a few shows, the two of special note were a musical act called ‘Cast in Bronze’, and a comedy swordfight act called ‘Don Juan & Miguel’.
The Cast in Bronze act was really interesting. This guy plays an instrument called a Carillion. I’ve never even heard of one of these things. It’s a bunch of huge bronze bells rigged up to some levers and foot pedals, and you can play it using your hands and feet. Evidently these things are almost exclusively found in cathedrals and the like, since they don’t lend themselves well to portability. This guy managed to get his hands on a portable one (relatively speaking), and he tours the country sharing his really interesting musical talent.
Then right after them were Don Juan & Miguel. They’re two ‘Spanish Gentlemen’ who tell lots of great jokes as they run around with swords and whips. You can see why angela and i like them. These guys are really hard to describe, you really should catch one of their shows.
Then we did some more shopping. I got a hat, and angela got a parasol. She also got this cool gryphon puppet that sits on her shoulder. The puppet is a riot. The thing looks so real. There’s a control wire that runs down its tail and across your back, you can make the puppet’s head turn, and look up and down. Unless you are really close, it looks eerily real. She gets lots of stares, and a few people come up and have to ask her what it is.
Until next year! (angela wants a cape next year)