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Thread: Renaissance Festivals: The Thread!

  1. #1
    Junior Member Pod of the Midwest Mermaid Rivera's Avatar
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    Post Renaissance Festivals: The Thread!

    I've seen a couple threads about specific ren fairs, but never about ren fairs in general! So here's one for people to enjoy!

    You can talk about anything ren fair related! Your favorite fairs, performing tips, hauls and even share your experience with mermaiding at ren fairs!

    Welcome to the Ren Fair Thread!

  2. #2
    In a few weeks will be the local Ren Fair of my area. I've always loved the atmosphere at the Renaissance Fair. I feel more relaxed being in public around a lot of people at Ren Fairs compared to at other types of festivals.

    I'll probably make use of my new elf ears and go as an elf this year. I'm sure it would be fun to be a festival mermaid with a tank. I know a few mers do those performances. I wouldn't mind doing that someday if I had the chance!

    Fun Fact for those who don't know: Finfolk Productions got their start making mermaid tails for their local Renaissance Fair when there was a need for realistic mermaid tails.
    www.youtube.com/MinxFox
    I love: Peacocks - Mermaiding -
    Tropical Plants
    That was her magic, she could still see the sunset, even on those darkest days. - Atticus



  3. #3
    Junior Member Pod of the Midwest Mermaid Rivera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Alea View Post
    I wouldn't mind doing that someday if I had the chance!
    I'm starting my very first year of performing at a ren fair as a mermaid in May! The funny thing is I've never been to a fair before, so while I probably won't get the full experience as a patron, I still hope I'll have fun!

    We don't have a tank, (only a well sized swimming pool) but fingers crossed!

    The fair I'll be at is the Oklahoma Renaissance Festival (OKRF) in Muskogee if anyone is in the area!

    I also recommend Easy Street by Jane the Phoole for all things ren fair performing!

  4. #4
    Hi, i admit being french I know next to nothing about Renaissance Fair besides some references about it as something a bit like Comic Con in US geeky movies so I am curious. What is Renaissance Fair exactly? It seems like a gen name for similar festivals of historical reconstitution but is it always of the Renaissance Period? Are There Renaissance Fair only in the US or also elsewhere? And also if it is supposed to look historical then why going with elf and mermaid costumes am i getting it wrong and it is some kind of fantasy fans festivals? Sorry i know it probably sounds like weird questions but i'm confused about what is the whole thing exactly.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Pod of the Midwest Mermaid Rivera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Fina View Post
    Hi, i admit being french I know next to nothing about Renaissance Fair besides some references about it as something a bit like Comic Con in US geeky movies so I am curious. What is Renaissance Fair exactly? It seems like a gen name for similar festivals of historical reconstitution but is it always of the Renaissance Period? Are There Renaissance Fair only in the US or also elsewhere? And also if it is supposed to look historical then why going with elf and mermaid costumes am i getting it wrong and it is some kind of fantasy fans festivals? Sorry i know it probably sounds like weird questions but i'm confused about what is the whole thing exactly.
    That's a good question! I should have explained it first thing, but if anyone else comes across this thread, here's the basics!

    "A Renaissance fair, Renaissance faire or Renaissance festival is an outdoor weekend gathering, usually held in the United States, open to the public and typically commercial in nature, which purportedly recreates a historical setting for the amusement of its guests. Some are permanent theme parks, while others are short-term events in a fairground, winery, or other large public or private spaces.[1] Renaissance fairs generally include an abundance of costumed entertainers or fair-goers, musical and theatrical acts, art and handicrafts for sale, and festival food. Some offer campgrounds for those who wish to stay more than one day.

    Many Renaissance fairs are set during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England. Some are set earlier, during the reign of Henry VIII, or in other countries, such as France, and some are set outside the era of the Renaissance; these may include earlier medieval periods (including Vikings), or later periods, such as 17th- or 18th-century pirates. Some engage in deliberate "time travel" by encouraging participants to wear costumes representing several eras in a broad time period. Renaissance fairs encourage visitors to enter into the spirit of things with costumes and audience participation. Many welcome fantasy elements such as wizards and elves." (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renaissance_fair)

    So, in general, they are usually set during the Renaissance and often have historical elements however there are often exceptions such as Medieval themes and fantasy themes. For example, our fair often asks all female actors to have hoop skirt dresses, even though it wasn't exactly "In Period". This is because the wide space helps with cooling our actors! Another feature of our fair is the fairy realm, which also has us mermaids! Again, it isn't historical but because of popularity and myths sourced around that time, we opted for some more magical elements.

  6. #6
    Oh ok thanks you for clarification. That's cool. No similar thing exist here the closest we have are very realistic historical reconstitution events (like people ask historians to be sure to get it exactly right so interesting but not that much fantasy inclined) or Japan Expo (lot of cosplays some of diverse thing and may have mermaids cosplay occasionnally but mostly cosplay for japanese anime, manga and games characters (that said a few ones are mers but they are not the most well known), and well most mer events are from the rare professionals mers here. Thanks again and just a last question do english lore always locate mers in fairy realm or are there various opinion like for an exemple being in our litteral sea also?

  7. #7
    Junior Member Pod of the Midwest Mermaid Rivera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Fina View Post
    Oh ok thanks you for clarification. That's cool. No similar thing exist here the closest we have are very realistic historical reconstitution events (like people ask historians to be sure to get it exactly right so interesting but not that much fantasy inclined) or Japan Expo (lot of cosplays some of diverse thing and may have mermaids cosplay occasionnally but mostly cosplay for japanese anime, manga and games characters (that said a few ones are mers but they are not the most well known), and well most mer events are from the rare professionals mers here. Thanks again and just a last question do english lore always locate mers in fairy realm or are there various opinion like for an exemple being in our litteral sea also?
    I'd say it usually depends! Because fairies and mermaids are mainly mythical creatures in the lore, it's not uncommon to see all mythical creatures grouped up in a single area. Though it isn't set in stone.

    Our fair groups them up in the "Imaginarium" category so that includes any fantastical creature!

    But it really just depends on the fair! Some group them with pirates (which we also do because the pirates are located next to us) and some might just put them wherever they feel like!

    Seas the day!
    ~ Seas the Day ~
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  8. #8
    Ok. Thanks you again. That sounds very cool. I guess I would love it if i was where you are.

  9. #9
    Junior Member Pod of the Midwest Mermaid Rivera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Fina View Post
    Ok. Thanks you again. That sounds very cool. I guess I would love it if i was where you are.
    They are definitely a lot of fun when you watch them, so if you can access YouTube I highly recommend watching some ren fair vlogs! And hey maybe if everyone promotes it enough, you can get a ren fair in your location!

    Seas the day!
    ~ Seas the Day ~
    Member of
    7FathomsEntertainment
    Visit me at
    OKRF in Muskogee, OK
    Follow me on Instagram:
    @mermaid.rivera

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Rivera View Post
    I'm starting my very first year of performing at a ren fair as a mermaid in May! The funny thing is I've never been to a fair before, so while I probably won't get the full experience as a patron, I still hope I'll have fun!

    We don't have a tank, (only a well sized swimming pool) but fingers crossed!

    The fair I'll be at is the Oklahoma Renaissance Festival (OKRF) in Muskogee if anyone is in the area!

    I also recommend Easy Street by Jane the Phoole for all things ren fair performing!
    That is awesome congratulations! Do they have scheduled bathroom break times where you are helped out of the water and you change out of your tail behind the scenes? I've always wondered what mers who perform do about needing to use the bathroom haha.

    ----

    Yes surprisingly Renaissance Festivals are a big US thing, but Europe has quite amazing LARP (live action role playing) communities/gatherings and I know there is quite a good French LARP community which you could look into. With so many people into LARP you would figure there would be more Renaissance Festivals.

    Some Ren Fairs like to stay historically accurate while others have tons of fantasy elements. The one in my area has a mix of historical and fantasy. One year there was a person on stilts who was dressed up to look like a tree creature. We also have pirates at ours. Usually there is jousting, sword fighting, falconry, and belly dancing. They also sell historical and non-historical food. A favorite of many people is the giant 'turkey' leg, which I have been told is actually an emu leg. There are tons of vendors there selling swords, knives, capes, leather goods, jewelry, crowns, fur, paintings, all sorts of stuff! Then sometimes they have activities you can partake in. Last year there was an axe throwing booth and I failed miserably at throwing the axe at the target. Sometimes they let kids ride the big draft horses they use for jousting. I usually walk up to the horses when they aren't busy working and pet them.

    Our Ren Fair isn't as impressive as some. Some of the larger ones have castles, actors/actresses dressing and talking the part, and they are set in and around a forest. The one here just recently moved to an open field. Previously it was all on concrete...Not very immersive!

    Here is the impressive Mermaid setup the Arizona Renaissance Fair has:
    www.youtube.com/MinxFox
    I love: Peacocks - Mermaiding -
    Tropical Plants
    That was her magic, she could still see the sunset, even on those darkest days. - Atticus



  11. #11
    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    those Faires look like so much fun! Ideal place for mers and fairies to be!
    Sadly, as you said, they seem to be a mainly an US thing.

    While there are LARP communities in Europe, the most active ones are located in northern and middle Europe, and mermaids are rare.
    You might find one in a bathtub, or in a "landcostume" here and there, but something like in that video, nope.
    Probably because it's effing cold here, so even in summer, you'd freeze your tail off.

    The closest I can think of regarding Faires would be what's called "Medieval market" or such, which feature prominently medieval life and goods with some fantasy elements mixed in, but I've yet to see anything mermaid related in one of those, nevermind a functioning tank.

  12. #12
    Oh thanks you all for all this informations. That said yeah they are big LARP communities in France but they are more turned around medieval themes either historical or DND like Harry Potter inspired and murder parties all that is cool but almost no one play a mer character the best chance is with mer in HP-inspired/DND like LARP but even in HP inspired LARP mermaid and mermaiding are still rare but they exist. I love cold water but swimming in it alone would not be at all in the spirit of what we are talking about here. Yes here also "Medieval market" are the closest to Renaissance Fairs but nothing mer related there either.

  13. #13
    Junior Member Pod of the Midwest Mermaid Rivera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Alea View Post
    That is awesome congratulations! Do they have scheduled bathroom break times where you are helped out of the water and you change out of your tail behind the scenes? I've always wondered what mers who perform do about needing to use the bathroom haha.
    I'm not sure if we have scheduled bathroom break but we're only in there for 2 hours at a time (the rest of the time we are mermaids with legs lol) and we'd usually sweat enough to not need to go. We're getting a building to which we can store our stuff and change in and out of our tails but it's got a ramp that leads to our pool so we just have to kind of butt scoot out of there!

  14. #14
    That is so cool! I hope you have lots of fun!
    www.youtube.com/MinxFox
    I love: Peacocks - Mermaiding -
    Tropical Plants
    That was her magic, she could still see the sunset, even on those darkest days. - Atticus



  15. #15
    Junior Member Pod of the Midwest Mermaid Rivera's Avatar
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    I'll try to post any updates on my Instagram (@mermaid.rivera) though I'm not sure how much I can photograph, seeing as cameras are forbidden for actors, but I'll try my best!

    Seas the day!
    ~ Seas the Day ~
    Member of
    7FathomsEntertainment
    Visit me at
    OKRF in Muskogee, OK
    Follow me on Instagram:
    @mermaid.rivera

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