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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Two Arts & Life reporters discuss their enjoyably medieval time at the annual Renaissance fest

    Some+of+the+attractions+at+the+annual+Arizona+Renaissance+Festival%2C+held+last+weekend+in+Apache+Junction%2C+Arizona.+The+festival+featured+crafts%2C+psychic+readings+and+a+joust.
    Kincaid Rabb
    Some of the attractions at the annual Arizona Renaissance Festival, held last weekend in Apache Junction, Arizona. The festival featured crafts, psychic readings and a joust.

    Every February and March, Apache Junction, Arizona, comes alive with its feature attraction: the Annual Arizona Renaissance Festival & Artisan Marketplace. Spanning 30 acres, this legendary 13-stage festival boasts an arts and crafts fair, a tantalizing selection of food and liquor, a jousting tournament, rides and more.

    Immerse yourself in a medieval village and wander among peasants, royalty and craftsmen of the mythical Fairhaven.

    Two Daily Wildcat reporters attended Feb. 20 to take in the sights, sounds and tastes:

    Sammy Cherukuri: I enjoyed the psychic reading with Lady Joyce. Although it was pricey, the experience was intriguing and shockingly accurate. Greeted by her helpful assistant, the atmosphere proved to be most welcoming and intimate. Once seated, Joyce introduced herself with a large palatte of gems and stones and a deck of cards. She proceeded to predict my future with a spread of cards. What about you?

    Kincaid Rabb: I liked listening to the characters at the CROFT Folk Life Center. Where most of the Arizona Renaissance Festival was an opportunity for entertainment and pleasure, that particular area was dedicated to showing how life actually was during that time. Using authentic tools and craft methods, knowledgeable peasants demonstrated and lectured on life in medieval times, which was fascinating and delightfully quaint.

    SC: The Fairy Secrets lotions and potions were magical. These scented candles, once melted, are used as lotion and body oil. One can rub the oil from the candle over his or her body, making it smooth to the touch and filling the room with the sweet aromas of avocado and macadamia nut. The prices range from $15 to $25.

    KR: Cast in Bronze featured an organ-like instrument called a carillon, which used bells instead of pipes. The instrument was loud and it played well-known songs such as themes from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera,” the traditional Christmas carol “Carol of the Bells” and Carl Orff’s “O Fortuna” from “Carmina Burana.” The instrument, one of over 500 in the world, was rather discordant. Each bell sounded like it had an overtone of a minor third, which added to the cacophony of the instrument. It was an impressive and rare experience.

    SC: Kincaid, I think you really missed out by not coming to the Her Majesty’s joust to the death with me. The stadium was grand and packed with drunken medieval enthusiasts and merry families. The royal court of the festival presided over the ceremony in its reserved seating section. The squires first presented their knights’ colors and steeds, and the lady of virtue presented the knights with esteem and character. The knights engaged in an epic jousting tournament. Shields were knocked aside, lances were splintered and the crowds went wild. When one of the knights proved victorious, a violent brawl ensued and a convincing fight to the death commenced. People were invested in the fight and the stadium was electric with the audience’s energy.

    KR: Sammy, with all due respect, I think you missed out when you decided not to join me for the Tortuga Twins R-rated show. The first joke, asked to a 6-year-old girl sitting in first row, set the stage for the rest of the act: “Dumbledore: pitcher or catcher?” It was raunchy, raucous and definitely not appropriate for children. At one point in the show, two girls were sitting on either side of a 15-year-old boy, whom the twins had dubbed Masturbation Boy. With persuasion from one of the twins, he leaned back and the two girls kissed. Given the audience involvement and the nearly 30 years of comedic experience of the three Tortuga Twins, I thought the act was one of the highlights of my experience at the Arizona Renaissance Festival.

    The Annual Arizona Renaissance Festival runs every Saturday and Sunday from now until March 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Adult tickets (ages 13 and older) are available at the festival gates for $24, though discounted tickets are available. With its multitude of shows, activities, characters and food options (including Pleasure Feast: five courses of fine food and unlimited libation), this event is not to be missed and is well worth the drive to Apache Junction, Arizona.

    For more information about the Arizona Renaissance Festival, visit www.renfestinfo.com.


    Follow Kincaid Rabb and Sammy Cherukuri on Twitter


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