YEAR-LONG MERRIMENTS: People with a passion for wayback times -- both of the historic and the fictional sort -- live that life all year long. True, they might not show up to their cubicle rocking a ruff or hoop skirt or a full-on, clanky-as-heck suit of armor, but they do belong to clubs IRL and social media sites in onlinedom where they can talk all about what life might have been like, or really was, during medieval times and the renaissance. Topics covered? Oh, jousts, of course, since those are pretty novel in these modern times. Fashion, yes. Food, yes. How one conducted themselves and courted a maiden or gentleman, you bet. But there's really only a few times a year when immersing one's self in that world, beyond chat rooms and small in-home gatherings, can come to full flower. It's during a Renaissance festival, and one of the largest in the state has just opened in Hollister. It's the Northern California Renaissance Faire, and people are jesting, and flirting, and sashaying in frolicsome frocks at Casa de Fruta from Saturday, Sept. 13 through Sunday, Oct. 12. That's weekends only, but even if you attend one day -- you and your clanky-clank suit of armor -- you'll get the opportunity to revel in all the revels, from shopping to laughing to noshing to waving at the queen.
YEP, THE QUEEN: Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth and Sir Francis Drake do make regal cameos at the Casa de Fruta affair, so best practice that curtsy. Commedia Volante performs scenes of a most uproarious and fascinating sort on the Royal Garden stage and shall there be entertainments and jesters and watchable whimsies throughout the grounds? Forsooth. (Surely we used "forsooth" correctly? Anywho, we find ourselves uttering it at every chance during a robust Renaissance Faire.) Theme weekends also reign, so if a Celtic Gathering or an Oktoberfest tempt, circle those particular dates on your calendar. Which, of course, is made of parchment, yes? Yes. For ideas on dressing in the spirit, things to do, things to buy, and how to get there, turn your steed in this direction, ye olden times partier.