someone mentioned a Renaissance Faire, I always thought, "Oh, people in medieval
garb, being silly and medieval." Well, that's pretty much what the Pennsylvania
Renaissance Faire was, despite the fantastic displays and performances. They are
one of the best Renaissance fairs in the country, and thousands of visitors flock
to the fairgrounds to visit the site every year. This year, they celebrated their
I decided to attend the bawdy events to see what the Renaissance era had to offer.
Not long after attending my first event, called "Marshall Laww's Cock 'n' Bull
Stories," I quickly learned that their sense of humor was not very highly developed,
but it was fairly entertaining. My companions and I next attended the song and
dance performance of the Rakish Rogues, whom we enjoyed very much, despite their
The booths that made up a good portion of the Renaissance Faire were fascinating.
There were booths for virtually anything and everything, including pet dragons,
pirate garb and elaborate puppets. However, the booth owners could be a bit too
friendly at times. As my friend Lindsay said, "I think at its core, the Faire
is basically a way for middle-aged men to dress up and hit on younger women without
seeming creepy, because they refer to them as 'fair maidens.'" Indeed, we experienced
quite a deal of adoration and flattery from many booth workers and wandering minstrels.
However, no one from the Renaissance Faire could have been more flattering and
adoring than the fabulous William Shakespeare himself. We attended "Whose Jest
Is It Anyway?" where Shakespeare was one of the improvisational comedy masters
in a completely ridiculous game, based off the ABC television show "Whose Line
Is It Anyway?"
We cheered the loudest for Shakespeare, and as a result, we were whisked off to
his auditions where he told us in complete confidence that he thought it was time
for a change in casting, and he wanted women to play the roles of women in his
plays. What a radical idea! Of course, we auditioned.
Shakespeare took some liberties in revising the plays, making it so that Juliet
now had two Romeos, and Hamlet was killed by a young child in costume. We departed
from our beloved Shakespeare after much hand-kissing and praise on his part, and
explored the fairgrounds further.
There were many other events and shows that I was fortunate to see during my time
at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. In addition, some of the craftsmanship
on display was spectacular. The fairgrounds were so large that one could easily
spend a whole weekend attending all the performances and walking around to the
shops and booths.
Overall, it made for an excellent outing and I would highly recommend it for some
Renaissance-style fun. Lindsay added, "I think the Renaissance Faire is a lot
of fun, in a cheesy way, even though a lot of it is historically inaccurate. I'd
definitely go back to the Faire in the future, if only to laugh at the ridiculousness
of the actors and their shows, which is often filled with bad, sort of dirty jokes."
Jess Gill is a senior English major, creative writing minor at the College of New Jersey. She's on several executive boards, has presented a short story at an international conference, and is currently slaving away on graduate