Renaissance Faire: Presenting the Past

The 49th Annual Renaissance Pleasure Faire

~ 2011 ~

Musicians of the Shire

Entering the gate to the Renaissance Faire takes you to a realm where craftsmen work in old ways and games of long past origins are played in mirthful ways. There is an assortment of fine people dressed in rags or riches as each their rank and class permit. They speak in Elizabethan English and share their knowledge and concerns of the time. Like other reenactments, the Renaissance Faire offers a trove of opportunities for photography. Activities and fashions of another time provide good subjects. Plus, if you're looking for "big color," Faire is a good place to find it. Best of all, everyone is relaxed and playful, and that makes an ideal situation for fun.

The photographs shown on this page were made over the course of two visits to the faire. During the second visit, on May 21, there was talk of the imminent Rapture. When six o'clock came and went, my wife and I were left wondering whether: A) it didn't occur, or B) it did occur and the raucous and heathen crowd at Faire had been left behind to pay their dues. We noted, however, that The Puritans remained afoot at Faire, so we settled upon scenario A.

The Beard Variations

Well, of course there were beards o'plenty, and a fine beard is always worthy of a photograph. There are perhaps names assigned to different syles of beards, but I do not know them and so have given my own monikers to the beards below. Fine whiskers, all!

The Hair Variations

Fortunately, most of the women did not have beards. In the fashion of the day, many tucked their hair into a snood, a bag-like net worn behind the head. Others, though, let their hair flow freely, and some of them patronized the braiding concessions. It was a good hair day for all.

Activities Throughout the Shire

Old crafts, music and games were not limited to the entrance area. In fact, if you found a spot where nothing seemed to be happening, you had only to hang about for a bit and something would develop. Overcast skies offered good light for many photos made in open spaces.

Ladies and Lasses

The women of the shire, Port Deptford, were abundantly present about their work and play. Full of smiles and laughter, the women brightened the village with their effervescent personalities. They wore beautiful clothes, whether simple or ornate, and many made their dresses themselves. Many photographs here benefit from the soft light of an overcast day.

The Guys

The men came in various degrees of civility: noblemen and serfs to puritans and pirate rogues. Like the ladies, they were in good humor and eager for play—except for the puritans, of course, who, not surprisingly, were a stuffy lot. The collection of photos here shows the diversity of characters roaming the shire.

"Thank you" to all who made Faire the fun that it was, and to all who were photographed. Fare thee well and anon!

Images Copyright © Ed E. Powell
All Rights Reserved