Continuing my quest to visit Renaissance faires in Florida I've not before visited - The Sarasota Medieval Fair. I've heard very mixed reviews from friends on this event. I would prefer to get my information first hand - like actually going myself. I always try and get as much information as I can before I travel to new places. The Sarasota Medieval Fair web page was the perfect place to start.
They have one of the most informative websites I've seen so far. Good sign. I discovered I knew a few acts and vendors already but there was going to be over half the acts I've never seen before. That is really the point of making these journeys.
One of the common comments I've heard about this show is it's small. It may have been at one time but it was pretty extensive on my visit. From the map it did not seem like it was going to be an all day event but they managed to squeeze a tremendous amount of fun in a small space.
I was there from before opening gun till closing and try as I might, I did not see all the shows. If time was available I could have easily spent a second day and filled it with the things I didn't get a chance to enjoy.
As a 20+ year veteran of fair going, there have been a few acts I have seen dozens and dozens of times over the years. The Washing Well Wenches in particular. I have enjoyed them in now four different cities and know several cast members. This show was in fact the only show I ever participated in - and that was on my first ever visit to a fair. One heck of an introduction to live theater.
In 20+ years I have never laughed as hard as I did at this particular show. I have never seen an audience member so stubborn as to receive a whole bucket of water to the head. This is live performance at its unpredictable and hilarious best and why I personally travel hundreds of miles to experience it.
The one thing that stood out was the number of friends I ran into. Both costumed or working but more importantly performers who were just in street clothes there to see the shows. I can't think of another venue I've been to that performers I know well just come to have some fun.
Oh - and I got a shattered lance shot. Only my second ever and it's a good one. For the rest of my photos from this event [click here]
They are not all as good as this one but they certainly will give you a birdseye view of the this fair. Even though this one is the farthest from my house, I can see myself coming back next year.