Monday, October 1, 2012

Pittsburgh Raine Festival! I mean, Ren Festival.

Yesterday we ventured outward to the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival, on its very last day for the year.

That's a natural rainbow effect, kids, as in, I didn't do it on purpose or photoshop it--when I downloaded the pic, there it was! How frakkin' cool is that?

Of course, in order to get that, we had to walk through a downpour, and the whole thing was renamed the Raine Faire for a couple of hours. Just what I really needed a couple days after checking out of a hospital! Only, yeah. Not so much.

Anyway, before and after it rained, we had some fun.

Well, after we got there, anyway. See the lime green firetruck to the left? An 18-wheeler jackknifed into a guard rail (which actually did guard it from going down a hill) and caused a traffic jam. Yes, it was already raining. I had been planning to dress Martie in her Rapunzel gear, but kids, it was cold and wet, so I would have had a droopy ruined dress with a lavender-dyed Martie at the end of the day, so we rather wisely chose more appropriate wear for the weather.
Here's Martie with her program at a corner near the glassblower. Ready to Ren, peoples! Note the mud. That gets worse as the day goes on.

 Meanwhile, though, we found some of the last flowers of the season. Prettyful!
 Uh oh, getting rainy! At this point, though, it was just a fine light rain, and we could deal with that.
Here we are further down the hill (people, it's Pittsburgh, there is ALWAYS a hill. Or six.), near the shops and food stands, where we got a very good bratwurst with a LOT of sauerkraut, and the bun was even good bread all on its own. Hey, it's heart-healthy, all that cabbage. Shut up.
Here we are in front of my favorite act of the Ren Faire, Great Balls o' Fire, who is a guy named Willsome who is a fire eater and fire blower and yeah, he's pretty damn crazy but he is SO entertaining. If you get a chance to see him at a Ren Faire near you, do it. He really is the best thing at the whole do.
 I suspect he's part dragon, but without a DNA test, it's hard to tell, as dragon half-breeds are tricksy. ;D
Starting to seriously rain! In the bag, quick! I was pleased to find that the Tonner 2012 convention bag is not only practical, it's rain resistant. Good call on the bag, Jack!

We made our way back to the car to wait it out and get dry. It was a serious downpour, with rain slanting to the north and all.  Everyone except the shop folks got completely soaked. And yet the shows went on! These people are serious, and that's part of why I enjoy this Ren Fest so much. They're outside, they get soaked, they keep smiling and play on. I admire that, because there's no bloody way I could do it myself.

I didn't get many more pics, because of the rain and the mud and the yuck and I said "FNEH!" and put the camera away to keep it from getting utterly ruined. Kevin had a little raincoat for his camera, which I found amusing as he himself wasn't wearing one, and a rain hood for the lens, so he got more pics, including one or two of Martie that I hope to post soon.

Is that the sun? Really? I don't believe you. It looks wet, too. The mud by this point looked like chocolate mousse with a grassy garnish.
 Yep, it was the sun, the rainbow proves it!
The guy on the stage is The Great Rondini, who is an escape artist and comedian, and....yeah, well, what he did to his joints to get out of 100+ feet of heavy chain with locks and a straitjacket still makes me shiver. Go see him if you get the chance, too.

We saw another show, improvisational, unlisted and at the end of the day, called "NOT DEAD YET!" which involves Willsome and Flourish and the Klass Klown doing things with fire and acrobatics that No One Should Ever Do Ever Never No Lie The End. The Craic Band crashed the stage, as also did Skidmark the Beggar, they really let out all the stops for the last show of the Fest for the year, and the result was the best Ren Fest show I have *EVER* seen. Kevin did get pictures, and eventually I will post some of those, because damn, people, it was a great one-of-a-kind show.

Overall, aside from the two hour rainstorm, I had a good time, although today I feel pretty beaten up. The Pittsburgh Ren Fest has really turned into something wonderful from some fairly humble beginnings, and next year I'm determined to go earlier in the season and maybe more than once.


  1. Well.. now it sucks even more that I didn't go, and haven't gone in probably 5 or 6 years.

    1. The boys were surprised I went, given the week just past. Next year remind me and we'll take you with.

    2. I was too, though I'd wondered if you had since chat was canceled and you weren't on twitter *at all*. Haha. And I'll have to remember to remind you. :-P

  2. It was probably good for you to get out in the fresh air and it looks like Martie made a new friend or two.


  3. How apropos-the rainbow & the rainbow colored jacket on Martie! I love catching unseen images on camera. Makes you wonder what else we don't see!

  4. It really does. I could barely see what I was shooting for the sun in my eyes (after the clouds decided to scramoose), and look how well it turned out!

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