As August begins, it’s time to take a step back in time, to the San Jose Renaissance Faire. Held on the weekend of the 5th and 6th, the faire is an annual event that brings in knights, knaves, and plenty of happy-but-sunburnt attendees.
At the entrance to the faire, a large castle beckoned attendees to pass through its gates (after purchasing tickets at a reasonable cost, of course). Inside, several vendors and exhibits were set up, selling handcrafted goods, offering games of chance, or showcasing the finest in medieval fashion. Lining the side were rows of food tents, selling a variety of cooked meats and cold drinks.
Near the entrance, a large field was set up for jousting matches. Armored warriors rode by on horses, wooden lances in hand, striking at each other for points and he crowd’s entertainment. On the opposite end, several stages were set up for performers, who would entertain with song, music, and stories throughout the day.
As always, the queen’s court was in session. It was located in a nice and shady area near the food tents, so it was a prime spot to sit and watch the ongoings in the royal court while enjoying a turkey leg and shaved ice. Occasionally, they would interact with the attendees, asking for volunteers to perform a quick bit of Shakespeare’s plays, or teaching them the proper way to greet the queen. It was great for the kids, or for the older attendees who wanted to feel involved as well.
This year, there was a little extra magic in the air. As the San Jose Fantasy Faire was called off earlier in the year due to weather conditions, the two were merged into one, adding an element of fantasy to the renaissance.
While walking around, you could see Disney princesses interacting with children, and a pirate ship sailing in the middle of the field. The faire even made a notice that it was accepting of all cosplayers, so there were people in attendance thematically dressed as characters from “Dragon Age” or even the webcomic “Order of the Stick.” Anyone wanting to complain about “historical accuracy” could kindly shut their faces and let people have their fun because there was plenty of fun to be had.
In spite of an unexpected drizzle the day before, the weekend was bright and sunny. Much sunscreen was used and cold drinks were bought, but even while sweltering in armor and several layers of costume clothing, good times were had all around.