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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Northern California Renaissance Faire builds lasting memories

 

 

I decided to throw on my costume and spend a day at the Northern California Renaissance Faire this last Saturday. Lacing a whale bone corset until a lady’s stomach is somewhere around her kidneys is probably a form of torture in some countries, but it’s all part and parcel with that crowd.
The faire is located right by Casa de Fruta, a well-established fruit stand near Hollister. To say it’s in the middle of nowhere is to say nothing of the dog. It’s also to say nothing of the stretch of mountains one has to drive through before finally arriving anywhere populated. In truth, that’s probably most of its charm.
To begin at the beginning: The faire is set in the fictional English village of Willingtown, a town very willing to herald the arrival of either cleavage or single men. It’s a village crawling with knife-throwing pirates, bible-thumping puritans and jingling gypsies, all of whom happily throw caution and modesty to the wind.
Although it could be easily summed up as a lackadaisical romp of drunken, costumed debauchery, there’s a certain charm that’s lost in such concision – a certain charm and a most certain downplaying of just how drunk everybody really is.

The immersion is almost instantaneous. Nearly everyone is dressed in garb, and the stages are so well-decorated with colorful paintings and tapestries that it’s easy to forget just where you are.
Willingtown, with its dirt roads, numerous vendors and natural forest setting, is very easy to forget yourself in.
There are a number of vendors. Handmade costume shops litter the faire with beautiful custom creations. There are a handful of weapons booths, some with crossbows and others with knives or throwing stars. The knife-throwing booth, located near the entrance of the faire, is manned by pirates; a man named “Justice” quickly set about giving me a few free throws – most likely to have a laugh at the unsteady woman in high heels trying to heave a throwing star.
In the end, it’s the people of Willingtown that make it worth the visit, Justice being one of several actors that would gladly interact with me. A man who threw peanuts into ample bosoms, a completely unrelated nut-cracking woman with a wooden mallet and a flirty, swing-pushing fool are only a few of the colorful characters that comprise the true life of Willingtown.
For more information, visit norcalrenfaire.com. If you’re looking to truly find out more about the faire, however, it’s best to visit and experience the revelry for yourself. The faire will be running until Oct. 13, so make sure to lace up that corset or throw on that kilt and join in on the merry-making. You certainly won’t regret that you did.

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Northern California Renaissance Faire builds lasting memories