Dragons, Lads and Ladies Faire...
July 28, 2009
LARKSPUR, Colo.Aca,!"Aca,!A"ComeAca,!A| yeAca,!A| to the faireAca,!A|Aca,!A?
Imagine that sung in a husky alto flavored with 16th century English, the singer a buxom, winsome lass in a fetching tightly laced weskit and bare shouldersAca,!A| waving a massive turkey leg while keeping time, grease from the aforesaid bird shining on her chinAca,!A|
No, itAca,!a,,cs not a romance novel with a common touch, itAca,!a,,cs the Colorado Renaissance Festival held here every summer in the appropriately named village of Larkspur. Soldiers, civilians and family members in the Colorado Springs area can time travel practically in their back yard.
Six weeks of every summer the tiny hamlet is taken over by the huge money maker of an anachronistic Tudor Kingdom. Good King Harry, or Henry VIII of the beheaded wives, never had a court this lucrative or colorful. His facsimile parades around the fair grounds accompanied by one of his earlier wives; she graciously nodding her still-attached head. A lavish retinue of courtiers follows, gorgeously clad lords and ladies, capering and caparisoned jesters and fools.
Twixt and around this motley crew swirl woodland sprites and fairies with attitude. Goth and punk spice up heretofore demure denizens of the wild wood Aca,!" and swaggering pirates far from the Caribbean brawl and bluster, waving tankards of root beer or the real thing, gnawing on cobs of corn and the ubiquitous turkey legs.
Vendors abound, selling silks from the Orient and nearer by, allowing faire-goers to dress the period. Long-tressed lasses can have their hair braided in proper Renaissance fashion, replete with feathers and thingamabobs. Jewelry for adornment of both genders is abundantly available, and fairy-wands and wings offer more than a hint of magic. Strolling pickle and pretzel sellers offer their wares for a guilder or more, and armorers due a brisk trade in weapons of bloodcurdling variety, from claymores to two-headed axes.
Entertainment is both visual and participatory. A full-scale joust is held a couple of times a day, with magnificent steeds mounted by gallant knights idiotically, nay, bravely rushing each other with lances poised, while the crowd howls for the appointed favorites. Castle walls scream to be scaled, and the adventurous try. Would-be archers line up to show their prowess, and elephants, camels and lamas oh my are there to be ridden.
From tiny tots agog with wonder through tarted-up wenches of various ages to gracious and/or merry seniors, citizens of the realm of all ages can enjoy the wonders of ColoradoAca,!a,,cs Renaissance Faire.
IAca,!a,,cve been taking my children since they were 7 and 9 respectively. Today, they are 14 and 16, andAca,!A| the wonder has not palled.