The Texas Renaissance Festival is held every year in a small town northwest of Houston. These sort of festivals are held in just about every state. In Texas, they do it in the fall when it is cooler. If you've never been to one of these, they can be a lot of fun. The TexRenFest has a permanent location. There are several hundred little shops, an arena, a large garden, and stages. Entertainment runs to medieval folk music, Shakespearean productions, puppet shows, and in the big arena, a jousting event. There is lots of food available, some going for a medieval effect, but regular Texas festival food (like turkey legs and sausage-on-a-stick) is available. The shops tend to sell jewelery, leather goods, pottery and lots of stuff (clothing, hats, swords) for people who want to dress up for the Festival.
Most people are only too happy to pose if you ask them, like these wenches above.
Costumes run from realistic attempts to recreate period clothing, to more fantasy middle-ages stuff, like the fairy with the big wings above. We've gone to this 5-6 times in the past 13 years. Some years ago I thought about a costume for me and went so far as to buy a pattern for a Scottish kilt outfit. This past summer, my daughter found the pattern and offered to make the costume for me. Some $60 in material later, here's what I looked like.
Too bad about the lens flare. That's my daughter with me. She made the shirt, the kilt, the leggings, the pouch around my waist and the hat. I fit into the crowd nicely. Maybe next year I'll dress up like this guy below, but not likely. He was striking a pose for anyone who wanted to take his picture. Notice there are dollar bills stuck under the bands around his biceps. I wonder what this guy does when he's not wearing chain mail?
There is a log of chain mail at the Festival. Some women walk around in chain mail briefs and bras and little else. Something makes me think they couldn't get away with that in the real middle ages. These two people seem to be gypsies.
This guy below was actually working. He had a rickshaw and would give rides around the grounds for $3.
As we were entering, we noticed a few people in togas. Each weekend, the Festival has a different theme. This past weekend was Roman week, which explained the togas It also explained these guys.
There were about 10 guys dressed as Roman Legionnaires. The costumes were quite elaborate.