Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Brief Note

This week is extremely busy. It's marks not only the end of the season for my first faire site for this thesis project, but also the last week for the intro to sociology class I'm teaching as well. This being the first time I've had to create and grade final exams, and grade term papers, and figure and post final grades for the course...I want to get it right.

But I also felt it would be remiss of me to ignore this blog for an entire week, especially since I got so much good data, made many new contacts, and was treated so wonderfully at the Kentucky Highland Renaissance Festival. There will be updates as I process the information I have collected--once I have more time to give it the thorough attention it deserves. Until then...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hot, Hot, Hot

I'm talking about the weather. Anyone who has stepped outside their air conditioned lair anywhere in the continental U.S. is aware of the heat these past couple weeks, so I won't bore you with a list of heat index numbers. However, just as extreme rain does not deter rennies, neither does extreme heat. At least not much.

The cast, boothies, and performers at this faire continued on through the scorching heat last weekend, and intend to do so again tomorrow for what marks the closing weekend for this festival. Certainly there were slight changes and accommodations made to cope with the heat. Sleeves were rolled up and boots exchanged for sandals. Everyone took up the cause of making sure everyone else was drinking plenty of water. And shows like the joust--where men and horses alike could easily get overheated from all that gear and activity in the blazing sun--were cut shorter. None of the patrons seemed to mind. In fact, there were somewhat fewer patrons who came out to brave the heat this past weekend. But then, they may have all saved up their faire days for the previous Steampunk Weekend when there was record attendance.

For some, this is a hobby, something fun to do on a day off from work, a chance to escape the hum-drum of daily life and step into a fantasy for a day. For others, it is a life they perhaps wish they could live more often, though renfaire seasons in their part of the country last only a few weeks or months of the year. (Many of them spend the rest of the year looking for similar activities that can in some way transport them back into the fantasy, whether it be gaming, cosplay, or other such things.) And for those who travel the renfaire circuit, this is more than a livelihood; it is a way of life. I applaud the fortitude of everyone who helps build this temporary realm that comes to life inside the festival gates.