Revisiting Renfest

It's been far from a quiet month at Starship Suburbia, out here on the edge of the galaxy (reference anyone?!). We had nearly every single window in our house replaced (a long story), and then Dr_Co and I went off on a long sojourn. 

Before that happened, we hit up the Minnesota Renaissance Festival as a family, and had a ball. It was a HOT and HUMID day, so we decided to skip the dressing up part. That decision was not regretted. 

The MN Ren Fest is one of the oldest and largest Ren Fests in the United States, and so it's extremely popular. It's also currently on the site of a mining operation, some of which has taken part IN the parking lot, so traffic can get a little interesting at times. My brother and his wife had their wedding at the festival a few years back, and traffic was so bad that it took people hours to get there. They ended up having to delay the wedding by 45 minutes so that some of the guests had a chance of getting there. 

So, this is why my favorite strategy for the festival is this: go on a Sunday, arrive early, leave early. 

It's what we put to work, and even with the heat index that was surprisingly high for a September, we had a great time. 

We got there just before opening, early enough to park in the pit. After watching the opening ceremony, we entered, and Miss Mads was able to be presented to the King.
The King was giving tokens of appreciation to his subjects
We wandered for most of the day, poking in and out of shops, and working to complete Merlin's quest. The quest was in the form of a booklet with riddles to solve. Figure out and visit the correct location, and you would get the page stamped. 

Along the way, we saw the start of some sand art
The festival, as seen through fairy wings

We didn't really manage to see too many shows this year. We saw part of Puke and Snot, until the beating sun left us needing water. Our intention was to catch the last joust of the day, but we ended up leaving before it was time. We weren't missing out, though. This year saw us interacting more with characters any any year before. We met the king, met the Fairy Queen, talked with Vikings, and Miss Mads sparred with some brave knights.

My fierce warrior princess, taking on the most patient knight in the land
We visited the animals this year, too.

Fancy Bearded Dragon!

After a warm, full day, we were able to do everything and then leave before the rush started. 

The finished sand art!

After all, we'll likely be back next year!


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