Everyone remembers their first: the turkey legs, the mead, the ornate costumes, the jousts. Or maybe you don’t. Maybe you never will. Nevertheless, for those looking to branch out or gain a bit of knowledge beforehand, here are my Do’s and Don’ts of your first time… at the Ren Faire.
Do: Dress up!
The costumes are what sell the experience, and if you don’t have anything to wear, that’s no problem. Around almost every corner there are vendors selling folk-ware, ranging from elf ears and flower crowns to entire pirate ensembles and artisanal suede cloaks.
Don’t: Expect to use Apple pay.
They didn’t have Venmo in the 1500s! Sure, maybe they could’ve picked up contactless payment during the plague, but hindsight’s 20/20 on that one. Instead, bring cash, sacks of gold, or some valuables with which you can barter.
Do: Come with an empty stomach.
Part of the fun of Ren Faire is trying all the weird foods you would only see there. Besides the obviously popular turkey legs to be washed down with meads and ales, the faire will typically have tents with cuisine from all parts of the world. You can try Mediterranean, East Asian, Mexican, Irish, Nordic, and North American goods all in the same picnic area.
Pro tip: Go to the shortest line if you’re really hungry. All the food is so good, you won’t be missing out on the 45 minute donut wait.
Don’t: Try to cram everything into a couple hours.
Take it from me. I was to be traveling back to Washington, D.C., the day I went to the New York Ren Faire, and even with the six hours I was there, I felt like I could’ve spent the whole weekend without even scratching the surface of what the faire had to offer. Get a schedule of the shows and performances they have planned, and try to see as many as possible. After all, they are the only things included in the price of admission (around $25), and you may as well make the most of your money.
Do: Use the Ren Faire jargon.
If I’m not hearing “Huzzah!” at least every fifteen minutes, why even go? In all seriousness, get into the spirit of Ren Faire! Even if it isn’t particularly your scene, it has something for everyone! The most fun way to be involved in the faire is to really immerse yourself in the 1500s, for the most part. You may not be losing stool in the streets, but the port-a-potties will be labeled “latrines.”
Overall, the Ren Faire is what you make of it. If you want a really fun day full of living it up in your best wench-wear, then I highly recommend going. I’m just here to make sure your first time is a memorable time, whatever that may be.