My family went to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire on Sunday. We have been going to the Faire for the past couple of years but I don't think we usually go in August. I believe most of our visits are in September and October. However, change is afoot at Mount Hope and not all of it is good.
The main reason we went to the Faire this particular weekend is that it was Time Travelers weekend. That is when all of the fun Doctor Who and steampunk costumes come out in full force. This year there was a full-sized TARDIS at the Shire. (My husband took a picture.) It is definitely one of the more interesting weekends to people-watch.
Actually, this is one of the changes this year. Generally, Time Travelers weekend is later in the season. Usually the weekend or two after Children's Weekend, which has traditionally fallen on Labor Day weekend. This year Labor Day weekend is held for Heroes of the Realm, where they honor active military, police, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and veterans. Children's Weekend will be the weekend after Labor Day. It isn't a huge change but it did put us in the Shire a bit earlier this year. Luckily, the heat didn't kill us.
On the disappointing side of things, the schedule (or Writ, as they call it) was a little disappointing. Our favorite Faire act, Fool Hearty, was there and they were awesome, as always. However, a couple of the other acts we enjoy aren't on the performance list for this season. We know that the entertainers change every year so we are OK with that. But then a couple of the other shows we like to watch were inconveniently timed against the Fool Hearty shows. (For example, the Who's Jest show that my daughter enjoys was running at the exact same time as Fool Hearty's Untrained Dog Show.) We will be back at the Faire later in the season so, hopefully, we'll be able to catch some of the other shows...even if it means having to miss our absolute favorites.
Another big change at the Faire is the royalty. For the past 33 years, the Faire centered around Queen Elizabeth I. This year the focus is on King Henry VIII and Queen Catherine of Aragon. We don't usually go to many of the storyline shows, mostly because they are packed with people, but we definitely saw Henry walking around much more often than Elizabeth did. I can't say that the change had a large impact on our enjoyment of the Faire but I do have to say that it was nice to mix it up a bit.
I am very much looking forward to the rest of the season. It is quite likely that we won't return until the Halloween weekends, which are our favorite, but we will definitely be back.