Good people in good humour for good tymes.

Escondido Renaissance Faire 2009


Despite repeated weather predictions for rain, Saturday morning arrived dry. By afternoon, white clouds gave way to sunshine. Not too hot, not too cold...a good day for Faire. We brought my mother along in a wheelchair again this year, and she was festooned in bright colors for the occasion. Royalty, peasantry and pirates greeted her with complimentary enthusiasm. She lapped it up like a cat at a saucer of milk.

I saw some people whom I have seen at this faire before, but there were others who were absent and missed. Timothy Byrd, harpist, was not there. There were some singers who were absent or I somehow missed. I don't think Amblefolke were there at all, but if they were I did not see any familiar faces.

On arrival, we were warned to "beware of a large, armed party near the gate." We were undaunted — after all, we had mother along. The "large armed party" turned out to be the gentleman at left. So we made it through the gate and the fun began. I paused long enough to photograph a young lass getting a hair tie. I was pleased to see that she chose white, which goes well with her dress, and noted with some satisfaction that at least some of our youth still have some fashion sense. Well! As usual, there was plenty of fashion sense to be seen at the Faire. But for now, we were eager to get to the stage for the House McFionn Dancers.

The Dancers

All of the dancers seemed improved since last year. The music was good, and in most cases the music was performed live. Movements were fluid and energetic. So fluid, in fact, that I did not realize how fast the House McFionn Dancers were moving until I saw my photographs. Most photos made at less than 1/200 second were blurred.

The Escondido Faire is not so sticky as some faires about "period correct." And so we had amplified sound reinforcement and sometimes recorded music rather than live. For the large stages, hearing it amplified is better than not hearing it at all. But metal folding chairs, styrofoam cups and those gosh-awful, ubiquitous plastic water bottles definitely break the spell.

My apologies to dancers of the two photos on the right: I do not remember the names. The belly dancer in black and red is among the most fluid and sinuous of that genre that I have seen. Huzzah! My good fortune was not only to be able to see her perform, but also that the quality of light was excellent. I saw her again later in the day, but by then light was harsh and unflattering. The other photo also benefits from nice light, and those dancers were a colorful and talented group.

A Variety of Characters Did Assemble

The mix of participants ran the gamut, from barbarians and pirates to royal aristocrats. Each was dressed for the chosen role. The pirates had their rag-tag clothes and scars to match, and the upper class was outfitted in elegant garments. Everyone was pleasant and in good humor. My experience this year was that, as a whole, the pirate crowd was the most outgoing in their effort to engage visitors.

The day ended with a gathering of drummers and dancers. They began in the picnic area, and then migrated—dancing and drumming—to the entrance gate. By then, the gathering was large, and they generated a lot of activity at the gate area. It was loud and frenetic. You would not want this crowd living upstairs, but it was an excellent way to end a day at the Faire.

Images Copyright © Ed E. Powell
All Rights Reserved