The Arizona Renaissance Festival (or “Renny”) has been a family tradition for as long as I’ve known.
I’ve had enough chocolate covered strawberries to fill a bathtub. I can recite the Ded Bob Show, backwards. I’ve seen knights perish in a Joust to the Death on a Saturday, and rise again on Sunday to ride for my giddy adoration.
The other members of the The Deli? Not so much. So getting them to commit to a full day of 16th-century debauchery was an adventure in itself. To the review sites we went.
The festival’s Google Business Page was beaming with positivity, but it was this nugget from the Renny’s Yelp that really cemented our plans:
“Sounds like our kinda party,” they nodded.
Walking up to the festival gates, an overwhelming sense of glee fell upon the squad. Yet…there were so many questions left waiting to be answered:
If I buy a sword, can I challenge a stranger to a real, no-holds-barred duel?
Are we too old to ride the camels?
Wait – MF’ing Renaissance camels?
A swarm of hopeful patrons buzzed about the ticketing booth, awaiting their admittance to the mystic realm. Pro-tip: buy your tickets online or at Fry’s. There’s nothing sweeter than strolling past the lowly serfs with your fast-pass to knightdom.
Actually – you should yell “EAT IT PEASANTS!” as you walk by. It’s all part of the “Renny” revelry and definitely won’t make the dude in a Monster Energy cut-off kick your ass.
A cloud of pleasant smells tinge your nostrils within seconds of entering the festival. You’ll find a cornucopia to feast upon, from bread bowls overflowing with creamy broccoli cheddar soup, to Olde World classics like bangers ‘n’ mash.
The pièce de résistance? Dem gargantuan turkey legs. This hunk of meat doubles as a blunt force weapon. You’ll be walking around looking like Bamm-Bamm Rubble. We were too busy admiring the glistening poultry-stick to snap a halfway decent photo. And it was literally 53% of the reason we came in the first place.
There’s oodles more to do at the “Renny” than eat, though.
You can bring home a one-of-a-kind piece of glass (hand-blown, glass-blown) right before your eyes in a scorching fire.
You can awe at a dude in tight pants, cracking a whip of scorching fire.
You can even watch some guy literally eat scorching fire.
IT’S HOT, FOLKS.
Our favorite show of the day was The Wyld Men. The performance is a muddy dialogue following two main characters; the self-proclaimed sophisticated man and the fabled wild man.
But we couldn’t help but notice a third member to this spectacle, and in our opinion, the engine that kept the wheels chugging – Captain Jimi.
Jimi has the cool factor, with 80’s hair and an unmistakable aura of swagger. Jimi played with bombastic intensity that rumbled viewers to the core. Jimi wanted to do one thing and one thing only – bang those damn drums.
And he did it well, winding the crowd through a gamut of emotions over the course of a 45-minute show using only two sticks and a horn (for comedic effect).
As to not spoil the show, or the fest itself, we’ll get onto our final statement:
We noticed an exorbitant amount of people likening the prestiged Renaissance era to the dim Medieval Times. Uhhh…hello??! Did y’all pay attention in history class? They are two separate periods of time. Hundreds of years to be exact. The Renaissance, or “rebirth”, was the awakening from the Middle Ages.
Y’all really got us piped up out here (insert fuming out of the nose emoji).
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