Miami Renaissance Festival: Fake Brits, Gay Shahs, and Kick-Ass Falcons
Well, say what you want about their appearance or undeclared taxable income generated from their homegrown narcotics sales -- the carnies at the Miami Renaissance Festival know how to look and act the part.
Like meth labs, Renaissance festivals allow you to see and experience things you normally wouldn't see on a day-to-day basis. It's a wondrous world filled with dragons, midgets, and funny accents. The Miami Renaissance Festival, which runs through April 8th at the Cauley Square Historic Village about two miles south of buttfuck Egypt, is no exception. If you're into shit like Dungeons & Dragons or Magic: The Gathering, you're probably aware of what to expect and have already written up a list of errata which questions the event's authenticity. If not, read on and judge whether or not it's worth your time.
I had never been to a Renaissance festival. The closest experiences I've had were visits to Medieval Times while under the influence or playing EverQuest during my college years, usually after putting in my hours at the Burlington Coat Factory which, contrary to what they may lead you to believe, are most definitely not mooooore than great coats. I'm not exactly an expert, is what I'm saying.
But here's what I gathered upon entering: The Miami Ren-Fest takes place sometime in the late 15th century or very early 16th century, based on the fact that you can find Ferdinand of Aragon, Isabella of Castile, and their batshit insane daughter Princess Joanna among the characters. Beyond the magical gates flanked with rebellious teens dressed the part but still exhibiting the "fuck my parents for making me do this" attitude, you enter what's gotta be South Florida's biggest playing-pretend party since the mayoral recall election.
You'll find everything: knaves, maidens, bards, swashbucklers, wenches, and other words I just Googled to give this narrative more color. The scene's got a very carnival-esque feel to it; you walk around and people with surreptitiously worn digital Casio watches do their best fake British accents and pander to your desire to impress those around you by playing a game of chance. There was a game called "spear throwing" which consisted of the player picking up a spear, and then throwing it. Renaissance-era game-namers were truly masters of their craft.
At one point, in the archery range, I found myself immersed in the atmosphere -- only to have it blown when I heard some guy yelling at his friend, "Oye, oye, oye, papo, mira p'aca." I tried to play it off like it was just some sailor from Cádiz until he said, "Ñoooo."