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At the Renaissance

September 28, 2013
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent

This past Saturday's weather was quite the opposite of the previous one. The sun was shining; the temperatures were warmer. Too bad it couldn't have been like this for the SMAHC boat cruise, but I wasn't complaining. A few of us were heading east toward Shakopee for the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. We did take a little detour to look at the Beaver Falls county park that Ross had come across earlier this summer. We even saw a couple of whitetails as we drove down the windy road.

We made our way on Highway 212 to our eventual destination. We did have to wait a little bit until we could finally park. And we ended up as far back as possible. The Renaissance Festival's parking area has markers, which I figure are "years," starting somewhere in the 1500s or before (I really don't pay too close of attention; plus we never really get to park that close). We were beyond 2004, I noted. Thus began the trek to the front gate, past the quarry area.

Once we got in, it was pretty mobbed. I guess others had the same idea we had - nice weather, interesting venue, why not? Ross had gotten a discount food tickets book for the two of us. So I had basically $24 to spend on food. And I don't normally eat that much when I go to the Renaissance Festival. We made plans to meet at a certain spot at 5 in case we got separated - and of course, we did get temporarily separated. Ross stood in line for his annual turkey leg, while I surveyed the food scene in the area we were at, finally deciding upon a chicken taco. Apparently tacos and burritos were among the "new" foods this year at the Renaissance Festival, along with cheesecake chimis, deep fried stuffed olives and Friar Tuck's Tator Tots. Four of us ended up listening to Arthur Green Holmes: Wildly Inappropriate Poetry at the Treetop Stage. Trust me, it's not a family-friendly act. The entertainer himself even warns people before he recites one of his poems.

Ross and I kind of drifted around the festival, trying to get through the throngs of people. It was almost like the State Fair, but not quite. We caught the tail end of one of the Tortuga Twins' shows. We looked at many of the vendors' wares. And I tried to avoid going through mud on more than one occasion.

I had chicken on a stick later in the day to continue using the tickets. We went to hear The Dregs, our usual haunt at the Renaissance Festival. For $5, the group will play any requested song, even if it doesn't know the words. Most of their set was by request, and the half-hour performance went quickly.

I had some gelato; Ross had a frozen strawberry orange as we ventured around another marketplace. He later got some alligator meat on a stick, wanting to get me to try some. I wasn't game. Then came the time that I actually did get separated from him where I wasn't able to locate him right away. I had gone off to look at some perfume and apparently he went back to a vendor where he wanted to get a product. I just made my way toward the entrance at 6:30, along with everybody else at the festival it seemed like. I couldn't find anyone familiar in the sea of people, so I kept going. Eventually I spot other members of our party and we all made our way to the car. It did take a while to get out of the parking lot, but we were happy with how the day played out.



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