The Silverleaf Renaissance Faire has sort of become my home away from home. It's currently my favorite faire to go to, even though it's smaller than the Michigan Festival.
There is just a bigger sense of community at Silverleaf that you don't get from Hollygrove. The smaller scale makes it a little less intimidating, the people seem more
laid-back and friendly, and there are less rules and regulations to follow.
When I arrived at the faire and walked into the gates a great feeling swept over me. Like the feeling you get when you arrive at your grandmother's house for Thanksgiving.
You feel the sense of family in a familiar place and everything just becomes happy for the while.
I made my way around the faire just to see what was new and different before actually going into any of the shops. I quickly found that I seemed much emptier than last
year. Although the grounds were littered with shops and people it seemed more empty. After talking with several shop keepers I quickly found out why. Several of the more
popular acts were not there this year.
All of the Commidiots shows were gone (Whip Boy, Rouges and Rapiers, and the Pit Players), Circle of Swords was gone as well, and sadly my favorite event, the Shiabruck's
boffer list was gone. (Because management thought it was too dangerous even though nobody was ever hurt.) All of those shows used to draw a big crowd, which would in turn
create lots of noise, but they were all gone this time. Thus, the place was very quiet and there were far fewer crowds. However, since Circle of Swords left, Swords of Valor
took their place. They put on a couple nice shows. There was another group as well, whose name escapes me. The archers had a nice demonstration as well. Their test dummy
Bob took quite a beating.
Of course, I wasn't about to let something trivial like that ruin my fun. I still wandered around rather aimlessly from shop to shop soaking up the atmosphere. I met several
old friends and made a few new ones. I finally got a decent pair of pants for my nobleman costume which match my doublet. Early in the day I saw a small band of
minstrels doing a fine job playing one of my favorite tunes.
Here are a few pictures of a very nice Viking encampment. He had loads of equipment setup and was informing the onlookers all about them. His bed was made from all animal
fur including fox, coyote, and sheep. He also had a cool dog named Maximus.
Day one ended and I set up my tent and unpacked a few things. I was also lucky enough to be invited out to dinner by April and Amanda. We had a good time, as dinner with
women is always a good time, and returned back to the faire to hang out for the night. Later in the night a huge limb fell from a
tree and landed on a tent. Luckily, nobody was injured.
Morning came all to soon and I had to take an icy cold shower, I don't think I'll ever like them. I took in some breakfast and returned to the faire a few minutes before the
gates were opened and watched the Queen's introduction. Day two seemed just as empty as day one, but hopefully it will pick up next weekend.
For the first time I actually saw some of the joust at this faire. After seeing Hollygrove's I assumed there was no reason to ever see a joust again because it sucked so
bad, but Silverleaf's was pretty good. The two knights were Malcom and Edward. Malcom was the bad guy in purple and black. We were rooting for him and he won. (Evil dresses
better and that's why they win.) After the joust, I met Larissa, Melissa, and James, and talked with them for awhile. It had been awhile since I last saw them.
After a few hours of hanging out I decided to try out my mask. I spent a good ten minutes getting it all set up, but it was very much worth it. As soon as I ventured from
behind the walls into the faire I was greeted with strange looks. Several people were creeped out, others giggled, and a few children started crying. (Which got me in a bit of
trouble, but it was resolved without a problem.) I even had a few pictures taken, which made me feel cool. Only two people actually figured out who I was supposed to be, the
Japanese spirit, Noface. Several other people assumed I was a medieval Jason. Oh the fools!
There was something I didn't expect about the people who thought it funny to pull my mask off. I expected a few little boys to do it, but everytime someone removed my mask
it was always a girl. Also, people assumed that the person behind the mask was a man even though there was no way to tell. It was a rather interesting psychologically to see
how the people reacted.
While wearing the cloak and the mask for so long in the sun, I was sweating profusely. A security guard even wanted to make sure I was getting plenty of water. When I
finally took it off my hands had pruned from all the sweat and my shirt was drenched, good fun. All in all, I very proud of how it all turned out. Sadly, I didn't get any
pictures of myself in the mask, but next weekend I might be able to get a couple.
Here's a picture of Jack in his king garb. He is a good dog, a greyhound obviously, but he came from the racing circuit where he was treated very poorly. Now he has a loving
home with a caring owner. He is a bit afraid of men, as he was most likely mistreated by them, but he allowed me to pet him which is good. He was one of several grey hounds at
the faire. None of them cared very much for the loud cannon at the beginning and ending of the faire.
The second day eventually ended and it was pack up time again. After packing, I said my good-byes and started the long drive home. I was quite tired after the long weekend,
and promptly feel asleep. It was a great time though and I look forward to next weekend.