We Took off during the thanks giving break to camp at the Renaissance Festival at Huston TX. Not to spoil too much but it was amazing.
It was our second time attending the festival but our first time camping out there. That decision was just so right.
The weekend was cool during the day and cold at night. Well cold for anyone from south Texas Down here if it drops below 60 degrees everyone breaks out the heavy wool and thermal underwear.
We are no pro campers and bought just about everything fresh from a camping list I saw online. So, the fact that they have only port-a-potty’s out there shouldn’t scare anyone away. It is a but rough not being able to shower correctly, but that’s only half the fun.
The rules out there are simple. If your in a quiet area(for families) bed time is at 10 pm, otherwise just don’t put your tent on the street. Anywhere else is game. Oh, and no fires on the ground, accept for the one bonfire area that is built in for everyone to share.
There are a few unwritten rules that you’ll find out from the Reni’s walking around. A Reni is someone who has been attending the festival long enough to be a pro. The usually know each other and have secret information shhh… One of these interesting people informed me that if you’re unlucky enough to put a camp-up in a place that is traditionally claimed it may turn into an issue. For the rest of the tricks you’ll just have to walk around and talk to people next year. 🙂
The campsite is a whole other world. Everyone is just so happy to be there. Most are super helpful and just wanting to hang out. Booze everywhere and there is a say’n that the Ren Fair camp area is the safest place to get pass-out-drunk. I didn’t test this, partly cause I can handle my crap and cause I didn’t bring my whiskey : (
I had the pleasure of watching a true nerd pick up a chick in his element. The conversation, I am not joking, contained Ninja skills, jello shots, naked jinga, and pirates. It was completely surreal and it worked!
Just warning, this is a crazy nerdy place so be aware. We are not that easy of people to get along with, they are great people though. I am a nerd but the depths of the nerdom shocked even me. Ninja pick up lines aside it was one big nerdgasim. This isn’t a complaint, I thought it was awesome. Just a warning.
Ok so your is campsite set-up and you have met your neighbors. Time to listen for the cannons which happen around 9:00-9:30 am, they announce the opening of the festival.
Like the campsite, this is yet another world. Everyone is just as excited and looking around for what fun thing they are going to see or do next. Costumes and such all over. Thanksgiving weekend is ‘Celtic Christmas’ so, kilts everywhere. Each weekend has a different theme.
This place is built into the environment and it’s amazing. Huge trees are all throughout. The stages are topped with vines growing over nets creating a living canopy of shade over cement seats. Shops are permanent wood structures that look and feel solid.
Bathrooms are big and literally have someone taking care of them the whole time. That didn’t stop some old man from popping my door latch and seeing more of me than he bargained for.
Performances happen all over the parks many stages and some even in the streets. We spent a whole day just going to see them and didn’t catch everything. If you have never been you have to make it to see, Tartanic, the French guy, and the Mud show. The others are great too, but those are a must see.
My Shopping tips would have to be, only consider hand made things. There is so much original work at the festival, there is no reason to buy anything you could just pick up on amazon. Shops aren’t above padding their inventory with accessories or knives that you’d look at in a different light if you weren’t at the festival. A cheap knife is a cheap knife, even at the fair.
One thing we didn’t master was eating. Everything is ugly expensive and cheaply made. There are some things you are unlikely to find somewhere other then the fair, so I hear, but we didn’t find any, other then mead.
Leaving the fair is the worst part. The feeling of going back to the normal world. Walking around Walmart and seeing people without that joy in their face. It’s no wonder people love the fair so much. We already started planing for next year.