Scarborough Renaissance Festival: Pinheads & Pirates

The Scarborough Renaissance Festival comes once a year to the DFW area, and even after growing up here and spending much of my adult life here, I’ve never been! When some of my friends were thinking about going, I jumped at the chance. I’d heard of sword fights and jousting, but other than that I wasn’t super sure what to expect.

A couple of the friends in the group were pushing to dress up, and I was definitely fine with that! It’s always fun to try new fashion. I had one modern bohemian top, so I figured I’d try and thrift my costume for the fair. To be honest, my vision got lost along the way, and with no corset to really help the idea, I ended up with a modern peasant girl (i.e. half-assed attempt). In retrospect, it’s probably better to have thrown my outfit together because when I got there – I realized folks really showed up in amazing outfits. I never stood a chance. (Not on my budget, at least.) Said tight budget meant I promised myself that after buying my ticket, I would only let myself buy a flower crown.

My boyfriend and I drove south out of Dallas to head to the Waxahachie Fair Grounds, which is where this Scarborough Renaissance Festival was located. That day was part of the special Legends of the Sea theme, but that didn’t mean I wanted to get rained on. All week, the rain had been tricky, threatening all day showers for Saturday. But it turned out beautiful! A couple of mud spots in the shaded areas, but since most of the fair was in the sun, it turned out to be really nice.

Some of our friends had been waiting for us at the gate, so we met up with them and headed to a knife-throwing show that the rest of our friends were at. When they threw the knives at the wooden post it was cool, but I wasn’t really feeling their jokes. It was too practiced and family friendly. I’d also just gotten to there and all around me were so many interesting things to look at. I was glad when the show ended and we could start walking around.

I got my flower crown first of course! It was a little stressful because I’m very picky and I didn’t want as much help as the sellers were giving, but after finally spotting the perfect crown, it was nice to do business and be called “my lady.” In fact, as we walked around, there were lots of accents and titles being thrown around. I enjoyed that little bit of commitment from the town performers and shopkeepers.

The shops were definitely the best part. I went into stores with lots of unique handmade items – woodworking, leather-lashing, and artisan craftsmanship all around. My favorite shops were the quills, the hand-drawn maps, the leather corsets, the wooden mugs, and a hat shop. (One of our group actually bought the cutest hat, completing her outfit so perfectly!) At one stop there were these really cool metal bubble makers and massive wind chimes. Obviously, the flower crowns were a favorite too.

Right as I was starting to think about what I could find to eat besides a big turkey leg (gross), my boyfriend purchased a big bag of cinnamon-sugar roasted pecans. Heck yes! Even better, he had also grabbed a cup of mead, which is actually my favorite alcoholic drink. (Hard to find good ones, but so delicious!) We all walked around a bit more, but the group was starting to get tired. Our destination had been finding the mermaid, but when we got there it was closed. One of us had already seen the mermaid, and said it was just an adult with a fake tail in basically a bathtub. I was thinking maybe it was better to just imagine the mermaid.

We headed to the last comedy show of the day, and I broke my promise and purchased one more thing – a cold beer. Sitting in the shade, sipping alcohol on a mostly empty stomach, I was feeling pretty good. Some of us stayed on this bench, out of earshot of the actual show we’d gone to see (which was perfect for me – having had enough of all the bad puns and so-called jokes), and just chatted. There was a nearby dunk booth (Dunk-a-Damsel) where we could randomly hear the damsel heckling her participants. I was enjoying the conversation with my friends, eyeing the passing people and their outrageous outfits, and enjoying my light buzz. Perfect first time at the Scarborough Fair!

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