Happy Belated-Thanksgiving, everyone ^^ I hope you had a lovely holiday full wining, over-dining, and long, awkward conversations. There are a lot of things I’m thankful for, and right at the top of my list is my large, close-knit family. Every time I visit we try to make it memorable, and one of my favorite family outings this year was to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire in Manheim, PA.
My family was a little resistant to the idea of dressing up at first, but when I found out they’d booked the trip the weekend right before Halloween, I explained to them that it was non-negotiable–“you have absolutely no choice” I think were my exact words. Though the Renaissance Faire has an obvious, err, Renaissance theme, there are no strict rules you need to adhere to. In previous years I’ve seen everything from Ghostbusters to werewolves to Spock and Kirk galavanting about amidst the jesters and maidens. That being said, my father went as a vampire prince, my mother as a maiden, my grandmother as a glam witch, and I went as a Demon Mage.
It was absolutely (and unexpectedly) freezing when we went, and I had to make a few alterations to my costume–I piled on about 4 tops, a scarf, and two pairs of leggings not originally planned. As for the small costume details, I built my wand using wooden stick, polymer clay, plastic skull Halloween decoration, acrylic paint, and Mod Podge glaze. For the horns, I molded modeling clay and affixed it onto hairclips, then painted them with three shades of metallic acrylic paint. Here’s a picture of the wand, pre-paint job.
As with any event, I immediately gravitated toward the shopping. You can find a lot of great cosplay items at the faire, but as for clothing items you can wear year-round, corsets and bustle skirts are in abundance. And I’m not talking cheap fashion corsets, I mean heavy-duty steel boning, waist-training quality corsets. If you’re in search of a corset at one of these events, expect to pay top price, but expect top quality to follow.
There’s a lot more to ren faire shopping than period clothing. One of the more unique items were these little fellas–interactive pet dragon puppets. They had literally hundreds of dragons for sale, each one different, catering to a variety of tastes and price ranges. While the less expensive dragons make slight head movements with the use of the hidden hand controls, the more expensive models had controllable eye and wing movement and even sound. Two years so far I’ve been tempted to get my own dragon. One of these days I’m going to give in…
Other things you’ll find in abundance at the fair–herbs and holistic items, flower crowns, steampunk attire, leather goods, swords, wine and mead, and magic and occult items.
In the center here, alongside my grandmother, is my brother…the only family member unintimidated by my dressup commands.
Here we have Panda Girl. I’m not sure if she called herself that, or if I simply did, but either way it’s appropriate. This awesome chick, who had more enthusiasm that I could muster in a lifetime, performed acrobatic rope tricks while dressed as a super cute panda.
That’s it’s for this year’s PA Renaissance Faire highlights. I highly recommend you check it out next year yourself! Have you already been there? I’d love to know if you dressed up and hear about your own experience. Leave any comments or feedback below!