From the moment we were swept inside the gates of the Bristol Renaissance Faire, our college-aged son Bridger, was wide-eyed with amazement. The sights and sounds and aromas affected him like they do Chuck and me. Once bitten by the ren faire bug, you can hardly wait to go again.
|Bridger and a didgeridoo. Of course, the shop that sells musical instruments attracted him.|
The first person Bridger met was Moonie, entertainer extraordinaire, whose comment seemed to be a harbinger of things to come, "The first ten minutes of my show are pretty tame, but anything can happen after that." Bridger had a feeling he would be seeing more of Moonie later. He would not be disappointed.
As we ventured further into the faire, Bridger made the acquaintance of Miss Chastity Trollop. The actresses and vendors enjoyed making him blush, but Bridge seemed to enjoy the attention.
We spent some time at Shakespeare's Corner, listening to Bristol cast members recite monologues and perform scenes from the bard's plays. Later, Bridger had the privilege of speaking to Shakespeare. Old William may have caused Bridger's cheeks to flush, too. Everyone seemed to have fun teasing the young newcomer.
|Our friend has a thing for Harry Potter, apparently, and took a shine to Draco Malfoy's doppelganger.|
When she said, "That's a tall Draco Malfoy," some of her cast thought she said, "That's a tall drink of Malfoy."
One show we didn't want Bridger to miss was Moonie the Magnif'Cent. His act includes juggling, tightrope walking, and plenty of comedy. From our bench, we watched Moonie scan the crowd, and his eyes lit up when they landed on Bridger. He scurried toward us, and selected Boo to be his assistant on stage. The two of them entertained the crowd together for several minutes, as Bridger tried to follow all of Moonie's directions perfectly, and hammed it up for the audience. At the end of the performance, Moonie tells each guest as they leave, "You're the best." His parting words to Boo were more specific: "You're the best hugger."
|You may have heard of The Moonie and Broon Show, but today the crowd was entertained by Moonie and Boo.|
There is so much to see and do at the Bristol Renaissance Faire that it is hard to get to everything in one day. We were there from the welcome from the Lord Mayor and his sister in the morning, until the drum jam that night. We asked Bridger at the end of the day if he enjoyed it enough to come back the next day. He could hardly wait.
|Just following Moonie's directions...|
Photo credit: Chuck Bennort
On our drive home, we pressed him for his favorite parts of the day. He said the thing he liked most was meeting the people. There is plenty to entertain a person at the faire, but the people we have come to call our friends are truly what make the faire spectacular, and they make us want to come back every chance we get.
|Two blacksmiths talking shop at the Guild of St. Michael. This was definitely a highlight for our boy.|
If you haven't been to a renaissance faire, you might want to add it to your bucket list. The community of Bristol knows how to make their guests feel welcome; Bridger wasn't an exception. He was treated like a king. We know you'll receive the royal treatment, too.
These are some of my favorite moments during Bridger's weekend, and must-see attractions at the Bristol Renaissance Faire.
|The pewter seller certainly liked showing off these owls.|
|The Fantastikals fascinate young and old alike.|
|We love meeting old friends who go to the faire as often as we do.|
|Barely Balanced is an act you don't want to miss!|
|The Witches of Bristol|
|Our dear cousin (nearly everyone is our cousin here) was nanny to the Lord Mayor and his twin sister when they were wee.|
|Chuck requested his favorite song about the Assassin's Prayer from one of our favorite performers.|
|We received a royal welcome at the Guild of Saint Michael's where the militia band teaches classes about weapons and warfare. A favorite lesson you might enjoy is "How Not to Die."|
|The surgeon wields a sword as well as he handles a scalpel, if you need surgery, or a razor, if you need a shave.|
|I finally sampled a turkey leg, thanks to Boo, just one of many sumptuous offerings on the menu at Bristol.|