I took my children to the Carolina Renaissance Festival yesterday. During our forty-five minute ride, Lindsay read some highlights of the Renaissance period from our study guide to us. We learned the important phrases: “privy” means “bathroom” and “Good morrow” means “Good morning.”
Our first show was a pair of comic duelists, Don Juan and Miguel. Don Juan came onto stage cracking a bull whip. My boys’ interest was immediately captured. After whipping a bundle of pasta out of Miguel’s mouth, the two began dueling with swords. My boys watched intensely.
A Birds of Prey show was next, where we saw a harris hawk, a horned owl, a vulture, and a falcon. We learned that the horned owl has a soundless flight which helps him sneak up on his prey and also that he actually has no horns, but rather feathers which look like horns. We also learned that vultures are pretty smart birds. This vulture cruised through the audience, waddling under our benches looking for food!
Next we watched court take place at the Royal Pavilion with King Richard and Queen Isabella of England. The “court” was open for children to ask the King and Queen questions. Lindsay asked the Queen, “What do you do all day?” The answer was managing the activities of her home. (Sounds a bit like all moms…I guess we are Queens!)
We listened to Celtic music played on a harp and hammered dulcimers. Logan recognized “Greensleeves” as the harpist played. Both of these ancient instruments produce beautiful music.
The sights, smells, and sounds of the Faire were overwhelming. We crossed paths with a Green Man, a knight, elves, fairies, and jugglers. Food ranged from huge turkey legs and stew in a bread bowl to roasted corn and fried dough. There were camel rides, elephant rides, a petting zoo, a rocking horse ride, a climbing wall, knife throwing, and circus stunts.
We also watched a magic show and a sword swallower. I think I probably should not have taken my boys to see the sword swallowing thing. When we got home, I came into the kitchen and found Luke with my huge bread knife out of its protective cover! Goodness knows what he was going to do with it!
I think the highlight of our visit was the jousting tournament. We took our seats in the arena and were greeted by the King and Queen. My boys loved watching the knights talk their talk, then fight it out! It was all obviously choreographed, but very entertaining!