I worked an allnighter flight from Seattle to Orlando Friday morning, rented a car and drove down to Sarasota, about 2 hours away. I had no idea I would be doing this so of course I had no fairewear with me. My costume for the day was typical patron- black workout capris, grey scoop neck short sleeve shirt, and nikes. With sunglasses! It was weird, but a treat.
Never been to this Faire or heard much about it so I had no idea what to expect, especially as I drove toward the parking area which seemed to be right in the middle of the city. But as soon as I got inside the gate the only sign of the 21st century seemed to be my own attire and iPhone use. Big beautiful shady trees, grass and dirt paths, and festive stages and shops were all around.
Alright, but how would the entertainment be at this smaller 3 weekend faire?
Well this is what greeted me inside...
Nothing like a drumming and piping group that I've not yet heard of but would soon get to know very happily!
A trip to the pub followed very shortly and I equipped myself with some quite delicious cranberry mead!
I took a good lap around the site to get a lay of the land and see what kind of shopping was available. The layout makes good use of the space, with enough turns and lanes to make it feel bigger than it really is but not so much that one gets lost. I didn't do any shopping personally but I saw a good mix of artisans.
I caught a show very astutely titled "Danger Comedy Juggling and Whip Show". It was very funny! I believe the performer's name is Aaron Bonk.
I started to get a sense of this faire's audience and they were a great crowd! Engaged, happy, ready to laugh and applaud and be entertained.
Let me note that as the day continued I made it back to every Cu Dubh show to get my bagpipe bootyshaking on (curse my lack of skirts!)
(yes I'm dancing, hence the bad filming)
I missed the opening gate performance by the local cast but did make it to the first human chess match. The story seemed to revolve around the German King Otto, our host, and what I couldn't tell if the opposers were French or just a barbarian tribe of rivals.
The Washing Well Wenches were not to be missed and Izzy and Gertie absolutely delivered!
The joust I only caught part of, but claimed to be and seemed to indeed be "full contact". Definitely was cool to hear and 'feel' the solid hits but there also seemed to be a lot of down time between passes (only two knights jousted) and some musical fanfare accompaniment would've helped some of the impact and to bring up the quiet moments in between.
(tried to get a selfie with one of the knights but he was distracted whispering things to me)
The day finished with a pub sing/ jam session with Cu Dubh. They played us all out the front gates and I think we were all sorry to go!
All in all it was an amazing and spontaneous day even if it meant I only got a 2 hour nap once I got back to my hotel before getting up to work a 10.5 hour day... But hey, everyone needs to go 52 hours without sleep every once in a while if it means making it worth it!