People Watching at the Renaissance Festival

Here’s the entrance to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, which just may be the finest people watching area in the Midwest.

You know what makes America great? We’re willing to funnel millions of dollars to put on a production that celebrates a history that isn’t even our own.

I spent my weekend at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, which evoked memories of my British Literature Before 1785 course in college. I’m not a fan of the Renaissance Era, but seem people are, as proven by the thousands who showed up this weekend wearing attire true to the era, despite 90-degree-plus heat. Now that’s dedication.

I make the point Ren Fest — as the regulars call it — isn’t much different than a Minnesota Vikings game, where men who haven’t exercised in decades wear Adrian Peterson jerseys as if they, too, play in the NFL. We all like to play dress-up, it seems. Some just can’t wait for Halloween.

Ren Fest is, as my mother would say, culture. So, there were hundreds of young couples bringing their children out to expose them to hecklers, jesters, maidens and knights. I saw a lot of this:

I’m a bit of a pyro, so anyone who toys with fire without incinerating themselves is pretty cool in my books. For instance:

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is going on every weekend up to October. If you want to see what it’s all about — or you just want to drink supreme brew from a wooden mug — wait until late September when it cools down. Bring a camera, too.

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