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What have you done today at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival?

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Photo of Dustin Gann

“We went to a joust, and then we saw the royal parade. Now we’re just wandering around to see everything.”

Photo of Michelle Goodrick

“I listened to some Scottish bagpipe musicians and tried some shoes. I had some cinnamon crunch almonds, and now I’m listening to a harpist.”

Photo of Ben Doyle

“Watched a lot of shows; a lot of people performing. I ate some chicken and chips, and I’m looking for a funnel cake stand.”

Photo of Brenna Hoch

“We’ve been looking at all the shops; we’ve been on the flying dragon, watched the parade and enjoyed the food.”


Linda Aikins 11 years, 7 months ago

Asked at Hastings? Mass Street?

Didn't go. One year it rained and there were mostly-eaten turkey legs all over the ground and they were just nasty. I haven't been back.

bmwjhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

I didn't go today, but if I had, the answer would have been: "I was really bored and spent most of the time resenting the person who dragged me here."

H_Lecter 11 years, 7 months ago

Well.....last year, I was putting up my booth and was about done, when shortly after I hung the sign offering free disembowlments, someone from the festival came by and said something about it being distasteful.

trinity 11 years, 7 months ago

ren fest? never been, never plan to go.

just something not real medievel (sp??) about funnel cakes.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 7 months ago

"Ye Olde Funnel Cake Shoppe"

That doesn't really have much of a "ring" to it.

I used to work with a guy who performed in Ren Fests. According to him, he only got paid in complementary tickets! So, while YOU pay all that money, only the promoters make any money.

conservativepunker 11 years, 7 months ago

I don't go. Community Theatre rejects give me the creeps.

trinity 11 years, 7 months ago

i think i'd be taggin' right along behind right thinker to ye olde beer seller! ;)

but first-time out for a medievel klondike bar!

lol@conservative punker, "community theatre rejects"...too funny! :D

cutny 11 years, 7 months ago

ha ha...too funny...more like...too stupid. That's it...why not make fun of everybody that does something that you're not familiar with. That way you can mask your own insecurities by aiming the attention at the perceived shortcomings of others. Gosh Gootsie, we all SO care that you went once and didn't care for it. Quite the darling of the boards, eh? People that refer to themselves as "conservative punkers" give me the creeps. What kind of oxymoron is that? Yeah Old Enuf...sounds like you REALLY know what your talking about. I think we should all take that as the gospel. What kind of work was he doing? Juggling flaming turkey drumsticks or directing traffic in the big, dusty lot? Seems to me there'd be a bit of a difference. Yeah spelled it wrong, but I guess that sp makes up for it. Driving a car to the RenFest isn't exactly medieval either, but I guess that's how people get there, outside of hooking up their chariots to their horses. Have a nice small day in your nice small world.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 7 months ago

I go to watch the shirtless and sweaty young men push the kiddies in the little rides. They are very physically fit and I so miss life drawing classes that sometimes I feel the need for a refresher course. It is simply to study how the muscles lay within the arms, chest, and back. H_L would surely approve of such a study. I think the hubby goes and seeks out the nearest bar wench and turkey leg. The kiddies just come home wanting tottoos. (I don't think we'll go this year.)

Nothing says Ren Fest quite like cheesecake on a stick!

If I knew what day "Puke and Snot" were going to be there, I might consider going for them.

Ceallach 11 years, 7 months ago

I haven't gone yet. But I do plan to attend with my granddaughter. At nine years old she is not yet aware of the "rejects" and thinks it is all very enchanting:) I thoroughly enjoy watching the children "Slay the Dragon," "Joust with a Knight" or "Drench the Wench."

As for funnel cakes, I'm not such a purist . . a funnel cake by any other name is just as sweet:) I also like the sherbet scoops frozen on an orange half, especially if it is hot that day.

Isn't the Ren Fest a fund raiser for the arts in KC?

Cait McKnelly 11 years, 7 months ago

I worked in the Festival for a few years back in the '80's. When the Rennaisance Festival first started about 30 years ago it was a nonprofit fundraiser for the KC Art Institute. It was all local "talent" and none of it was paid. It was a helluva lot of fun. That's still mostly the case now, minus the fun part. A few of the headline acts are paid but the vast bulk of the people who work the fair as performers are still unpaid. What's different is that about 15 years ago the fair was taken over by a management company who manages Renaissance Fairs and Festivals all over the country. The Art Institute gets a tiny portion of the profits with none of the work. The vast bulk of the money goes to the management company (who still uses unpaid labor). In the course of their management they have "streamlined" the festival to look and feel like all of the other fairs in the country. It's been assembly lined and, in my opinion, most of the creativity that made the festival so much fun to attend and to act in has been squelched. In the course of the fair's growth it has changed from a "fundraiser" to a vast commercial enterprise that isn't even fun anymore. Go to Worlds of Fun. You'll spend about the same amount of money and get a heck of a lot more for your buck.

jonas 11 years, 7 months ago

Today? It's a school-day, so I haven't been to the Ren Fest today. I would think that would be blaringly obvious. Is the Ren Fest even open on Tuesdays? Do you ever think about this stuff beforehand, LJWorld staff? Jeez!

sgtwolverine 11 years, 7 months ago

My guess is they asked the question yesterday, Jonas.

KC would be a bit of a long drive for me, so I definitely didn't go yesterday (besides, I was at a wedding). I did go to a festival once or twice years ago, and it was interesting once or twice, but no more than that.

Michigan update: today is the first day of school, and Detroit teachers are still on strike. Also, Northwest Airlines flight attendants are either striking or threatening to do so (I lose track after a while). It must be Strike Season in Michigan. I wonder who's next...

trinity 11 years, 7 months ago

owie, m'lord cutny! i've been lambasted, eh?

oh c'mon for cryin' out loud; lighten up! i'm not unenlightened, nor is my "world" small! if only you knew...

i just like to poke fun at things i have no desire to attend&that i think are rather silly!

but hey, pass the funnel cake, peeps; make mine w/strawberry topping! ;)

KSChick1 11 years, 7 months ago

love the ren fest, first things I head for are the booths selling jewelry and other baubles, turkey legs, cinnamon almonds, kettle corn, and chocolate incense, then I watch the shows and walk around seeing what I want to look at more then I head for home exhausted

Kontum1972 11 years, 7 months ago

Ren Fester is a rip off u walk around on dirty paths and u see people in tights gee cant u see that by the river near burcham park?

I have been about 3 times and all 3 times it sucked and was a waste of time....the tickets were free..but even for free it sucked....dont waste your time of money or gas its the same crap every get more Ren Fest on Mass street with the homeless Huzzah....!

libraffe 11 years, 7 months ago

Speaking of medieval, did anyone see that "Wife Swap" show with the modern medieval couple and their two children? Life as renaissance festival....

BunE 11 years, 7 months ago

The Renaisance Festival is creepy. Its like a huge carney convention.

Grundoon Luna 11 years, 7 months ago

My leather bodice was delivered on my birthday so I am rarin' to go later in the month with my boobies just about poppin' out the top. Good times.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 7 months ago

OWEE Cutny. I will goest and jumpest off nearest bridge because you disapprove of me!!! Was it the turkey legs comment? I so apologize!

Did I lose my "darling of the boards" status?

Ceallach 11 years, 7 months ago

Azure, some participants didn't restrict themselves to the "just about poppin out" mode last year :):) They were usually women of substance and "oh my" did they ever steal the parade. I felt rather sorry for the razor thin modelish figures trying to gather what flesh they could find to push up and out.

It's fantasy folks! I recommend taking a child and viewing it throug their eyes. Come to think of it, that helps brighten most events.

acg 11 years, 7 months ago

I've never been, either. Every year I say to myself "I'm going to go to renfest this year" but I never do. I should before they ban it though. I did the same thing with the Dead and look, Jerry's dead now and I'll never get to see them. Some of the opinions I'm hearing today, though, make me think I would be wasting time and money.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 7 months ago

You know, bob's right. In fact, I believe this board has been proclaimed stupid and pointless more than once!

Ceallach 11 years, 7 months ago

acg, I hope you try it once for yourself. It is very enjoyable. Sign up with the LJW and you may win free tickets. The right ad bar, at the top, displays rotating ads. One of them is for a weekly drawing for Ren Fest tickets. It's worth a try and I think you will like the festival.

Grundoon Luna 11 years, 7 months ago

You got that right, my pretty Harley. The faint of heart need not peek at what I'm a'totin' in the goody basket.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 7 months ago

acg, pick a nice day...not too hot. And go when it has not rained recently. Take the kiddies and be prepared to spend $10 on face paint that they will wash off the second they get home so take your camera! LOOK at the young men that make the rides go for the kiddies. They are buff! LOOK at all the cleavage. Wow...can't help but look. (Makes me wish I had a corset like A_A.) Get a beer and watch a show or two. Be prepared to spend some money. I could take it or leave it but the kiddies LOVE it. take note There are "show people" in the parking lot with complimentary tickets that will tell you their friend didn't show and they got stuck with an extra ticket. If you don't already have tickets, talk them down and get them cheaper. (They just got them free anyway.)

Linda Aikins 11 years, 7 months ago

Maybe I need to go again! It's been about 10 years. I'll take someone who has never been and that will make it like our first time.

I'll have t-shirts printed. And I'll have my heaving cleavage in place.

Ye ole salesmen, ye.

Thanks Harley. I've not been the darling damsel since Bea and I were going to pole dance!

Charla Welch 11 years, 7 months ago

I went on sunday. They had a canned food drive for Harvesters (and will on some other weekends if I remember correctly). We brought 5 cans of food and got 2 tickets for the price of 1.

After that, all my hubby and I bought was water, beer, and food. We view it as our special treat and will probably be taking some friends who moved here recently in a few weeks.

Yes, I'm one of the weirdos that dress up for it. We even bought a kilt for my hubby this year. It's more fun when people mistake you for someone who works there.

If you do go, watch John Mallory and Family. We watch him every year, and he gets funnier every year.

jonas 11 years, 7 months ago

"Ceallach: I recommend taking a child and viewing it throug their eyes. Come to think of it, that helps brighten most events."

Indeed. I took that mentality into the presidential debates of 2004, and thought: "Look! Two monkeys in expensive suits not saying anything of value! Why? Why? Why?"

Haven't been the same since. . .

sgtwolverine 11 years, 7 months ago

Speaking of reenactments, I would love to see people start to reenact great moments and games in sports. That would be fun.

YourItalianPrincess 11 years, 7 months ago

We are going this weekend. I haven't been there since I was nine and my youngest is going to have a blast.

dacs23 11 years, 7 months ago

I bought my girlfriend a bustier and we love to play that one Renaissance reenactment game where she is the young maiden and I the villainous Lord. Good times all the way around says I.

sourpuss 11 years, 7 months ago

To me, the strangest thing about Renaissance Fairs is that they are a horrible mix of Medieval and Renaissance history. The time periods were completely different. If it is a Medieval fair, fine, then stop with the Elizabethian costumes and da Vinci cranes. If it is Renaissance, stop with the Robin Hood and Viking silliness.

As it is, it is a horrible anachronistic mish-mash. Granted, I'm probably the only one who cares about that sort of thing.

For a better medieval experience, go see Guyot build a castle in France:

dacs23 11 years, 7 months ago


A bit of advice, stop looking at books and start looking at boo?s. It's fantasy, so have fun with it. If I'm not mistaken they had beer in both periods.

classclown 11 years, 7 months ago

Seen the same old tired things they have to see every year. If you've been to one, you've been to them all.

dacs23 11 years, 7 months ago

"Seen the same old tired things they have to see every year. If you've been to one, you've been to them all."

Kind of gloomy for a classclown. Try some anti-depressants man. So much negativity with such great weather. Get outside people.

Ceallach 11 years, 7 months ago

I knew I could count on you, Jonas! Thanks for the laugh, although, for their mental health, young'uns should not be allowed anywhere near the debates.

trinity 11 years, 7 months ago

bobness, it!

"chillax"??? that's a word! :) hawklet21, methinks thou standeth upeth for me-and i humbly bow in gratitude. ;)

i was awful curmudgeonly this morning, and i apologize. work again, after a long weekend&all, yanno. but i still have no desire to go to renfest.

huzzah! whatevs...

Linda Aikins 11 years, 7 months ago

If I "say" this three times, ***, will he come back?

moralebooster 11 years, 7 months ago

I spent the weekend wandering through the festival with my boom-stick as Ash from Army of Darkness...

See this? THIS is my BOOM STICK! The 12-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart's top of the line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That's right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about $109.95. It's got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger. That's right. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart. You got that?

It sure scares the little kids, but their moms really dig it.

Kodiac 11 years, 7 months ago

Ceallach says - "I recommend taking a child and viewing it throug their eyes. Come to think of it, that helps brighten most events."

That pretty much is the key. My kids never tire of battling the big bald guy with the black punchy poles or watching the big crazy bald guy juggle everything and swallow fire. Then it is off to the knights jousting and knaves fencing.

If it weren't for my kids, I would not be there and would also think that it was pretty boring. But as Ceallach says, kids sure change your viewpoint. It does cost money but hey most things do so why not go spend time with the wee ones and enjoy the festivities. While I do keep my comments regarding cleavage and popping out to myself around the wee ones, I would like to know when Azure_Attitude will be attending the festivities so that I might partake of what she is "totin' in the goody basket" for I am not faint of heart in these matters... ;-P

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