…to get ready for the Georgia Renaissance Festival!
Squee! I must admit that I have fallen in love with these festive 32-acres of jousting, royalty and vendors. There’s something so wonderful about the idea of stepping back in time so fully. Even if it’s not quite historically accurate.
Living in St. Augustine, we understand the whole idea of living in another time period. But, as was stated early on, the folk in St. Augustine don’t have as much fun as folk in Renaissance Faires do. Which is why I migrate. I drive 5+ hours to stay in a little hotel on exit 64 of I-85. I drive 5+ hours to wake up at the crack of dawn and get to opening gate each year. I do all this because some of the best friends you could ask for wait for me there. It’s like an annual gathering. No matter how busy we all are, we’ll all make it to this one day. We’ll all shed our cloaks of profession and become another person entirely. It’s liberating, to say the least.
Like most years, opening weekend is 2-for-1 tickets. This year, I’ll be taking my sister with me. She qualifies as an “adult” by age alone, although she’s only 14. Sigh, to be young again. The Soldier can’t make it because he has finals and whatnot. So, I retreat and give him time alone so he can stress out without me being around. Neither one of us like being stressed, so it’s a good escape plan.
Now, back to opening gate. The King, His Majesty King Henry VIII and his queen Anne Boleyn, address the crowd. They usually do so to the sound of beautiful music. You watch peasant dancers and musicians while you listen to the King’s speech. All the while, other in-character actors and actresses parade around alongside you, engaging you in conversation and sticking very firmly to the idea that they’re in the 16th century.
Once inside, succulent feasts and plentiful drink! They have fried Coca-Cola. Yes, they do. And it is wonderfully sinful. They also have jousting, of course, alongside talented performers and vendors who show their skill for your entertainment. And, even if you do enjoy the deep-fried food, you’ll walk it off. It’s 32 acres, afterall. That’s a lot of walking. Bring you most comfortable pair of shoes or you will regret it at day’s end.
So, I pack a suitcase and get ready to go in April. That suitcase sits collecting dust almost all year and then springs to life the second week of the month. Once again, I’ll be attending opening gate. It’s the 14th and 15th of April this year. Any who wish to join me? Or, want to experience their first Renaissance Faire ever? Georgia is a good place to start. And I promise, they don’t play banjos. They don’t talk with a southern drawl, nor eat peaches all day long. It is a place completely removed from Georgia and set back in Ol’ England herself.
It’s an eye-opener, I’ll give you that.