Tulare County Renaissance Festival & Marketplace

April 2003

Faire Dates: April 26 & 27, 2003

Year faire was set in: 1588

Notable Characters: Queen Elizabeth, the absent King Philip of Spain, Lord Darby

The Story: In the year 1588 King Philip of Spain sent one of his armadas to invade England. While this faire is not directly related to those events this provides a backdrop as to what was occurring at the time.

Review: Very nice faire, large site with plenty of room for play. One of my favorite features of this site is the creek bed that runs the length of the grounds. Typically the creek bed is dry and many people cross through the creek instead of taking the bridges on either side of site. Halfway through Saturday's events I noticed that there was water trickling down the creek bed and not an hour later the creek was full of water 1' to 3' deep in some places. It provided a great deal of environment and many people took to calling it the Thames River. Practically, it also kept patrons from crossing into actor's encampment and forced them to use the bridges (which are there for a purpose).

Lots of shows and lots of chances to see some great gigs.

Battle Pageant - My one complaint was that this event occurred in the middle of one of the major walkways for this faire, and effectively cut off foot traffic (unless you were an actor) for at least an hour. Some of the more amusing moments of the pageant include: the Irish, as they approached Lord Darby, were pelted with cabbage by the ever lovable gypsies of St. Murphy's - including the wonderful "cabbage catapult" which was really a long pole that they stuffed cabbage on top of and flung. Afterwards the pageant continued as any normal battle would and there was plenty of fighting and killing. Both sides were well put down by the Queen when she arrived and you might say there was no real victor. My funny story: Our encampment bordered the battle pageant area and when people were dragged off to the side (and in front of our encampment) some were crying for "Uisge!" Now I consider this a testament to just how addicted to faire I am and always will be. After playing Scots for long enough you should know that uisge means water and I immediately jumped up and cried out for a pitcher of water. I filled my cup and went around to all the folks piling up in front of the encampment and offered them water. (Now, I realize no one else but myself is amused by that story - I just had to relate it.)

Overall Faire Rating (1-10): 8

Faire website: http://www.stmortimer.org

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