In May 2006, my loving husband decided to take the children and I to the Georgia Renaissance Festival. I had only been to it once before. When I was a teen my Advanced English highschool class had taken us on a field trip to the Georgia Renaissance Festival. My friends and I had so much fun that I couldn’t wait to return some day. I knew it would be a while since my parents would never have gone to something like the Festival, nor would I have been allowed to drive all the way to Atlanta myself.
So back to May. A mere 13 years had passed since my last visit to the Festival. Each Spring, when the festival would arrive, I would pine to go. There were always reasons not to go. We didn’t have the money. My husband thought it was stupid and didn’t want to go. The children were too young. The weather was bad. Just always something.
Well for Mother’s Day, Tim (my husband) had heard my pining long enough. He got up the day before and said “Let’s go to the Renaissance Festival tomorrow”. I was so excited that I yelled “REALLY!?”. Of course, I suppose it helped that one of his work buddies told Tim about how much fun the festival was. Thank you Josh!
We woke up early Sunday morning. Since we live over and hour and a half away from the festival site, we had to get on the road early to make it down there before the gates opened. We loaded the girls up in the van and off we went. Everyone was so excited but none more than I.
We arrived at the festival about 15 minutes before the gates opened. The parking lot was already very full and there were people standing around everywhere. Many were dressed up in their Renaissance costumes. What a sight to see. There were also a lot of the festival actors and actresses roaming through the crowd and mingling with the commoners.
I saw some lords and ladies. A few Musketeers. Some fairies and pixies. There was even a very friendly executioner carrying his rope noose. He was yelling that we were all terrible at being an unruley mob. Apparently, in his opinion, we needed more pushing and shoving to obtain our unruley mob status.
Finally at 10am the King announced that the Georgia Renaissance Festival was open for the day. The crowd moved slowly through the gates while everyone relinquished their festival tickets. All the while, the executioner was yelling that his desire to see pushing and shoving be satisfied. Which of course did not happen.
We started through the park with the rest of the crowd but it quickly dispersed in all different directions. There was so much to see and do that everyone rushed off. This satisfied us very much since we hate being stuck in crowds. Tim and I decided to walk through the whole festival to see everything before deciding on what to do and see first. We made our way all the way around after a potty break for the girls, many beggings for candies and goods and after many yells from festival actors wanting us to check out their wares.
There were so many shops and shows to see. Loads of goodies to eat and tons of drinks to drink. We bought our three princesses their very own butterfly wands. Bought Tim a giant turkey leg, even though he REALLY wanted to have an ale. I bought a lovely necklace for myself, even though Tim wanted me to buy a sexy bustier. The big girls played several games while the baby watched. Then we stopped at the food court for some snacks. Tim and Cassandra had some “Steak on a Stake”. It was very good. While Sara shared a giant pretzel with Kaitlyn.
After that snack stop, we decided to take in a show. So we headed over to the jousting arena to watch the Queen’s Joust. Since it was on the other side of the park, we missed half of the show. But we saw some jousting and everyone enjoyed it. Right after the joust ended we decided to stay in this part of the park and check out a show that was about to begin. We quickly took our seats before it started. The show was a fantastic group of musicians and two Irish dancers who really knew how to pump up a crowd.. They were so good that Sara, my second daughter, was clapping and bopping along with the beat of the music. Unfortunately, Kaitlyn grew wary, as most one-year-olds do.
We decided to slowly make our way to the front gates. On the way we stopped to let the girls play a few more games, slide down a giant slide and also beg for more stuff. We had a few small rain showers to contend with but even those did not dampen the excitement of that day. The girls were truely amazed with it all and I fully expect to hear some begging to go back out of them next Spring when the Georgia Renaissance Festival returns.
Lastly, we will remember to go back with more money. We had gone down with $100 spending money and I ended up having to hit the ATM at the front gates for another $100 while we were there. There is so much to buy. A few examples are costumes, jewelry, pottery, artwork, exotic foods, tattoos, swords, glass items from the glass blower, pixie dust, fairy wings, magic wands, leather items. Just so much more than I couldn’t possibly even list here. We stayed for four hours and those four hours flew by very quickly. We didn’t even come close to touching on everything that the festival had to offer. There was so much to see and do at the Renaissance Festival that it will take us many more visits before we can truely say that we’ve seen and done it all.
If you would like to learn more about the Georgia Renaissance Festival then please check out it’s website at http://www.garenfest.com/ .