Sunday, September 17, 2006

Pirate Festival!

There is a local group that does a yearly Renaissance Fair in our area. We've gone once or twice and always have fun being transported back in time for a few hours. Costumes, food, jousts, period language and shows all combine to give you a real feel of the times.

This year, however, they have added a new one - a Pirate Festival! With Matthew having a pirate party that he missed out on, I decided this might be a good way to "make up" for his missed party from last weekend. So he grabbed his pirate garb and off we went.

The festivals take place in a local park in the woods. Walking up to pay the admission, you are already beginning the transformation of worrying about bills and blogs to wondering what the French soldiers might do when they see your son dressed up as a pirate. You are greeted with 'ahoy matey' at every turn and watch soldiers and pirates alike surround you as you quickly forget your modern life.

Among fine craftsmen of swords, hats, pirate garb and jewels, you first stop to watch some street musicians.

The beautiful harp, soft drum and pipe further lure you into pirate land.

Next you come across an archery range, where for a small fee, you can practice your pirating skills. Hubby helped Rose and Matthew a little but I was amazed at what naturals they seem to be. Rose sent her arrow (all by herself) all the way to the back bale of hay! And Matthew shot off 3-4 all by himself.

As we came out of the archery range, we had our first close encounter with a real pirate!! And he had a bearded dragon with him. I'm not sure if Jade was more impressed with the pirate or the dragon.

After wandering around a bit more, we saw that there was a black powder demonstration about to start and after grabbing some pirate grub (smoked turkey legs...yummm), we took the food back to watch the demonstration. We learned how to load a black powder gun and fire it.

He also showed us what flint is and how to use it to start a fire. He also gave us lessons on how to create charcloth to start fires. It was quite interesting! Rose even got to hold the gun to see how heavy it was.

We weren't quite finished gnawing on our turkey legs yet and decided to join another show across the main path. This seemed to be a magic show of sorts but the pirate in charge had the actions, words and personality of none other than Cap'n Jack Sparrow. This man had done his homework! He had the twisting hands and the quick wit down perfectly. We sat on the back row since the show had already started and enjoyed the show while we finished eating. As the show proceeded, Matthew and Rose slowly snuck up until they were standing just in front of this man. Matthew calls out, "I know who you are - you're Jack Sparrow!" The pirate replied, "No, love, that would be piracy! I'm Cap'n Tom Bollinger." After a few other of Matthew's interjections, he laughingly said, "Who does this child belong to?" Hubby and I ducked our heads and Matthew and Rose came running back to us.

Of course, the trip wouldn't be complete without a picture of "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" (that's a Veggie Tale reference for those of you who don't know).

And some mean looking jailbird pirates...

All in all, a great time was had by all of us. Though I did take a little spill down the gravel road. I skinned my knee a little but mostly gave it a really good bruise. It was a very fun trip and I was surprised that I had the energy to keep up with everything after 4 weeks of doing literally nothing. Afterwards, we all crashed for a good long nap and dreamt of sailing the open seas searching for pirate booty. ;)

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