Irwindale Renaissance Pleasure Faire
~ 2014 ~
The gates open promptly at a quarter past 9:45 during Faire. However, the faire comes to life outside the gate a bit sooner. There is music and dancing, and the gathering throng does indeed do its gathering. After some welcoming remarks, we learn that Her Majesty the Queen will be arriving at noon. This news causes considerable consternation to the Mayor who, until this moment, has been unaware of the upcoming visit. And thus, the Queen notwithstanding, panic reigns.
It seemed to me like a great opportunity for photography, and I entered the village.
Near the Gate
A preview of activities and characters is seen before the gate opens. The action bodes well for photography, fun, and silliness. Faire draws an exceptionally harmonious group which I describe as having a "playful demeanor."
People of the Village
They work. They play. They describe their lives and vocations. They, with grace and style, also accommodate photographers. Good, friendly people; I like 'em.
Fun and Games
Visitors and residents enjoyed good times and playful pursuits. Aristocrats and peasants put aside class and caste and found amusement together.
A Few in Fancy Garb
Of course, even the peasantry dressed better than the typical Brand-Name-in-Your-Face attire of centuries future. But these folks—well, my liver and lights! Fine threads, indeed.
Random Observations about the Shire
They are generally not found in the pubs, but otherwise they can be seen throughout the shire doing kid things. Like the adults, they range in personnae from thieves to aristocrats. There may be some redundancy there.
Performers of all manner and persuasion regaled audiences on stage and in the streets of the shire. No matter where you are and what you are seeing, you are missing something happening somewhere else.
High fashion or otherwise, the ladies in period garb were veritable advertisements for color photography. Many had colorful personalities to match, with spontaneous humor and lively presence.
Knights in armor, pirates on shore, Puritans on patrol: the men came in all colors and stations. They were all pleasant and merry—except for the Puritans, of course, surrounded as they were by egregious sin and wanton debauchery.
And with that, the evidence is in: The 2014 Pleasure Faire was an enjoyable success. With the history and silliness mixed together, and good people throughout, it was a delightful time for all. A special thanks to all whom I photographed. Be well!
Images Copyright © Ed E. Powell
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