We arrived just before opening at 10 am and stayed until closing at 7 pm, our personal record for longest day at the fair. We caught sight of the green fairy while listening to morning announcements.
Marionette puppet. Wait, what?
We had heard the show to see this year was Tartanic, so that's where we headed straight away. I thought it was pretty good, but the rest of the family was less impressed (even though there was belly dancing, and in fact, in part because there was belly dancing, which detracted from the music). Otto did say it was cool to see bagpipes played in real life.
Far more popular with all three boys was Barely Balanced. And I must agree they were pretty freaking amazing. And clearly having a great time up there. They have been performing at this fair for 8 years, so I don't know how in the world we have managed to miss them all this time.
Jousting is always a favorite. Otto wanted really good seats, so we ended up sitting right in the grass in front of the fence. We got a great view, but we also got a lot of dust in our faces. Totally worth it, though.
We caught just a bit of the Ded Bob Sho and made a note to try to see the whole thing another time, as it was pretty funny.
There was the annual attempt to climb Jacob's Ladder.
And a thrill ride (the Hurlinator, you can guess why it's called that).
Besides all of that, our main occupation was people watching. It was really so cool to see all the Steam Punk mixed in with the regular Renaissance garb.
We spent a long time looking at wooden instruments and mugs in one shop.
We caught the parade (and were separated at the time, so Max and Martin are in the background in many of my photos, which is kind of funny).
We watched a man make glass dolphins.
We checked out Lady Ettie's Tea Party but didn't stay for tea.
And then it was time for the big event: the Steam Punk Costume Contest. We sat behind this girl, who ended up being a finalist in the women's category.
We've only just watched Dr. Who, having heard about it for so long from practically everyone we know. We were finally shown some favorite episodes by my cousin's kids, who were so excited to share and got the boys immediately hooked. We were really glad to know what she was supposed to be.
In addition to Dr. Who references, there was a nod to The Flash:
And Star Wars:
As far as I know, this guy was totally original. Very cool. His wife was wearing an owl, which we all admired, but she didn't participate in the contest.
I very much appreciated all the people who just made up characters, and that was mostly what we saw throughout the day. Some people had added just small touches: a hat, goggles, a monogoggle, lacy umbrellas, light bulb topped umbreallas, leather suitcases worn as backpacks, clocks, weapons made of copper pipes, or even just Nerf weapons that had been modified. Many were in contemporary dress with those accessories. Some were completely in costume, head to toe, with accessories dangling from multiple straps. Some people were in their usual Renaissance costumes but had added something to them to give it the Steam Punk modification. It was also cool to see the people who took a character and used it as a jumping off point. Heck, it was all just fun to see.
Ironpunk and the Natty Man (we named him thusly, he was very fashionable and also made the final cut).
Cute couple we had admired all day, sporting many weapons.
The winners in the three categories posed for photos after the contest conclusion. (Ironman on the left won the men's, Tinkerbell and Peter Pan won as the couple, and NatureLover won the women's). There were so many amazing costumes, and we were definitely glad we didn't have to choose the winners, but it was so fun to see it all unfold.
We concluded our day with the final show of Barely Balanced. They had promised a completely different show in the evening and lots of fire juggling. Plus more amazing balancing acts. They delivered.
We walked back through the park toward the exit, noting all the rides and things we did and didn't do, shows we want to see next time, shows we enjoyed this time, activities we might want to do next year, activities we may have outgrown. It was the first time the boys didn't ride the ponies. We have usually concluded the day with that. But we noted last year that it would be Max's last ride: the ponies are for 10 and under. Otto didn't want to ride without Max, and we discussed the fact that they were probably ready to move on from ponies to horses (alas, there are no horses at the faire, aside from the ones the jousters ride). It was a bittersweet moment. We stood there watching the ponies circle around the track with absolutely no riders at all while we used our last dollars on a couple of pickles.
As usual, we left with empty wallets and lots of memories.