Edge

Florida Renaissance Festival brings history to life

Al Gardner creates a glass dragon on site at the Renassance Fair on Saturday.  Garnder has been practicing his craft of glass creations for over 40 years.  CHELSEA MATIASH // PHOTO EDITOR

Al Gardner creates a glass dragon on site at the Renassance Fair on Saturday. Garnder has been practicing his craft of glass creations for over 40 years. CHELSEA MATIASH // PHOTO EDITOR

Think of Deerfield Beach’s Renaissance Festival as something like a “Star Trek” convention for history majors or fans of “The Tudors.”

It’s certainly not the coolest place one could be spotted, but the Florida Renaissance Festival, now in its 17th year at Quiet Waters Park, still retains its dorky charm. Although it seems slightly subdued this year, the fair is still always worth a visit.

The best part of the fair is easily the Filthy Rotten Scoundrels, whose performances of classic literature are akin to Sparknotes set in a pit of mud. There’s always a chance visitors will emerge from the show completely covered in mud, but that’s part of the Renaissance Festival experience. Also reliably entertaining is Christophe the Insulter, who subjects his victims to a slew of 16th-century insults.

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Art-lovers can see glassblowers, weavers and blacksmiths partake in their crafts. If dressing like Henry VIII or Anne Boleyn seems more appealing, visitors can buy full Renaissance outfits; some dedicated fair-goers even wear them out in public. For those suffering from low self-esteem, just visit the Renaissance Festival. Seeing other visitors dressed up like history characters, fairies, and outrageous other costumes has the fun effect of making you, the normal person, feel far more confident about your appearance.

Themed weekends include Romance Weekend, Feb. 14-16; Pirates Weekend, Feb. 21-22; Wenches Weekend, Feb. 27-28; and Fantasy Weekend, March 7-8.

If You Go:

What: Florida Renaissance Festival

When: Every weekend through March 8, 10 am through sunset

Where: Quiet Waters Park, 401 S. Powerline Road, Deerfield Beach, FL

 

Cost: $20

February 8, 2009

Reporters

Sarah B. Pilchick

Senior EDGE Writer


8 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Florida Renaissance Festival brings history to life”

  1. Kristal says:

    As a performer of one of the various shows, I find this “news article” insulting.

    Not only was the tone smarmy, the haughtiness of phrases such as “dorky charm,” and “For those suffering from low self-esteem, just visit the Renaissance Festival. Seeing other visitors dressed up like history characters, fairies, and outrageous other costumes has the fun effect of making you, the normal person, feel far more confident about your appearance,” makes it seem as if the author considers hersself superior to those that perform at and attend the Festival. If that is the case, why did she even bother to attend?

    As a review peice, it also fails. None of the shows were reviewed. The only shows even metioned were “The Filthy Rotten Socundrels,” and “Christophe the Insultor” Did the author only catch one show? If so, what gives her the right to “review” the festival by insulting it’s cast, performers, clients and merchants?

    This leaves me wondering if she even bothered to LOOK at an entertainment schedule and see what was going on around her?

    If this is what the Miami Hurricane considers a “news piece” or even a “review,” it fails mightily.

  2. John says:

    ‘For those suffering from low self-esteem, just visit the Renaissance Festival. Seeing other visitors dressed up like history characters, fairies, and outrageous other costumes has the fun effect of making you, the normal person, feel far more confident about your appearance.’

    A particularly nasty and condescending review. You may not enjoy the dresing up, but it is very obvious that a large number of people do.

    How does it sound when I say I like watching UM Football games, and feel better about myself because I don’t paint myself in team colours like the other idiots?

    A review can be a review without the snide remarks.

  3. A. Nonymous says:

    As an opinion piece, it should have gone in the Opinion section of the newspaper. As a review, it fails to deliver effective analysis of the festival. Even though it is not straight news, a feature piece on an event should endeavor to objectively present the event in addition to presenting the writer’s opinion.

    This is destructive criticism at its most mediocre.

  4. Sarah B. Pilchick says:

    I understand why you may be upset, but I won’t apologize for my opinion. This is not and was never intended to be a news article; it’s a review.

  5. Jeannie says:

    I was disappointed by the reporting as well, Frank. Sarah, despite your initial half-hearted “always worth a visit” comment, the rather smarmy tone you employed in the rest of the article gave no indication that a trip to the fair would be enjoyed by anyone other than dorky renaissance history buffs, art lovers, or normal people with confidence issues. On the contrary, visitors from all different walks of life have found the fair so enjoyable that seasonal pass sales have nearly doubled since last year. And these aren’t all just “Tudor-trekkies” as you imply in your article… or do you also think that every visitor to Disneyworld has to love cartoons, or they won’t enjoy themselves? Your final, breathtakingly supercilious comment implying that those who enjoy dressing up in period garb aren’t “normal” is hurtful to people who are just trying to have a good time.

    I was also disappointed because, while it’s quite clear to me that for whatever reason you did not enjoy yourself this year (which is regretful), as a reporter you should not have allowed your negative opinion to overwhelm the article. You ended up omitting quite a lot of fair activity; out of the entire article, only FOUR sentences describe what visitors might find when they go. You made no mention of the food, the human-powered rides, the audience-interactive street theater, and out of twelve stages of continuously rotating entertainment you mentioned a mere two shows. While you do have every right as a patron and a reporter to express your displeasure with your stay, you also have a duty as a member of the media to give an accurate accounting of the event itself.

    I agree with your comment that having a season pass holder report on the event would be biased, but given your lack of any actual “reporting”, I’ll finish of my comment by stating (with all due respect) my own opinion: I’d rather have a propaganda-filled love-fest written by a costumed, season-ticket-holding ren-fair fanatic than this thin gruel that you pretend is a news article.

    Love and kisses,
    Jeannie

  6. Sarah B. Pilchick says:

    Thanks for the comment, Frank. It’s always nice to know someone’s reading our work. That’s the thing about journalism, though- you can’t please everyone all the time.

    What was included in the initial draft of the article was the fact that I’ve attended the Renaissance Festival numerous times over the years ever since 1998, and I would not keep going back if I didn’t enjoy it. This year, however, was simply not as much fun; the experience was drastically different.

    You recommended that this newspaper find a more suitable reporter to cover the event- by that, do you mean someone who loves the Renaissance Festival as much as you do, someone who dresses like a fairy or wench and buys a season pass to the event? That would be biased reporting, Frank. I went as someone who has enjoyed the past festivals very much, and I didn’t like it this year. That’s my opinion as an attendee and as a reporter, which I have every right to express.

  7. Frank Wolf Connell says:

    Wow it’s so nice of you to be so condescending. I’m always so glad to see to a reporter who doesn’t get it cover an event they have no business being at. It’s really no wonder most news outlets outsource to AP or Reuters. The Renaissance Festival is a place where folks go to live out a bit of fantasy it’s a romantic recreation that relies heavily upon the suspension of disbelief. Let’s face it most of us are pretty happy with the whole indoor plumbing thing, and general lack of plague. The fair lets those who’d like to live a bit of the dream do so without ridicule, the performers, artisans and merchants all go to great lengths to put on a fun show every year and they work tirelessly to do so. The Terms “dorky charm” or suggesting that people go due to low self-esteem issues is insulting to say the least. I would suggest that The Miami Hurricane find a more suitable reporter to cover this annual tradition and not some mean spirited holy than thou hack.

    Respectfully
    Frank Wolf Connell

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