There were some drawbacks to the rain. I missed the exciting new show by The Swordsmen (rain and the new show just don't mix). To The Hilt actually canceled shows because of the rain (that's Katya and Leonardo in the image on the left). It was really difficult to find a dry spot in the pub (I spent a lot of time in various pubs... I do that a lot when it rains). And I didn't take as many photographs as I would have without the rain. In fact, I only did the photography thing on Saturday; I spent Sunday shopping (rain days are wonderful shopping days).
Maybe some day I'll visit Willy-Nilly on the Wash and it won't rain.
One of the special guests flying (heh, heh, bad joke) in for Pirate Weekend was
I first saw Fowl Tales
at the Arizona Renaissance Festival several years ago
and have wanted to see them again ever since.
These are the kind of buccaneering birds that any pirate
would want to sail with!
My favorite member of the troupe is Gypsy,
the Bird Who Does Everything.
Patton (that's Patton in the picture on the
lower left with
is the up and coming Bird Still Learning the Ropes.
And of course every Pirate Bird Show has to have a cute human, too. That role is filled by Rosie-O-Blondie. I wonder just what she is going to do with that pickle.
Look closely and you can see Nick the Dog behind Rosie. He was the inspiration for teaching my Murphy the Wonder Dog to pull a cart and wear a backpack.
There is one group of performers who don't mind getting wet.
In fact, that is their job.
The Washer Women
of Willy-Nilly spend their day on, in or near their pond
(I still think the pond would like nice with come cattails
and a water lily or two).
I took this picture almost as soon as I was inside the gate
on Saturday morning.
The rain hadn't started, and the Washer Women hadn't had their
first dunmking, so this is a rare picture of dry Washer Women.
Less than 10 minutes after I took this picture, the skies
opened up and the first deluge of the day took place.
One of the largest Kids Area of any
faire that I have visited is at Willy-Nilly.
There are games for the little kids, like this fishing game, as well as
archery, axe throws, and a vegetable throw.
is adjacent to the games, which
is very convenient as the Mud Show is usually the favorite show of
any kid at the Faire.
I think it has something to do with getting dirty and no one yelling
at you to wash up.
I did mention that The Corsairs were at Willy-Nilly for Pirate Weekend, didn't I? The Corsairs interlace traditional ballads, rollicking shanties and original songs with comedy. Their show is a musical performance with a plot! Not only did the audience laugh at all the appropriate times, there was even a bit of toe tapping and thigh slapping going on. I think The Corsairs sang every song they knew. They even blasted out their version of One-ball Riley at the Pub Sing on Saturday, a song that gets a lot of air time at clubs, but very seldom is heard at Faire. The crowd loved it!
Did I mention that I spent all of Sunday shopping?
Well, if I didn't, I did.
I've really gotten into hand made soaps and lotions, and some of the best I've found
Castile Moon Handmade Bath N Bawdy Works.
The almond cheesecake soap looked (and smelled) like the real thing.
But I really love the lip balms:
Chocolate Mint, Pink Grapefruit Spearmint, Orange Peppermint and French Vanilla Mint.
Of course I had to stop and see my friends at SaferSwords. This was SaferSwords first real road trip (any faire less than a day's drive from home is not a real road trip ) and I think it went well.
If you ever need to buy roses while at Willy-Nilly, visit my favorite rose lady. She has a stand near the cross-over bridge and a willing helper to deliver the roses to your favorite jouster or pirate.
One of, if not my current ultimate, (there seemed to be a lot of these at Willy-Nilly on Pirate Weekend) favorite stage combat act is To The Hilt. This gypsy duo uses swords, staffs, knives and plungers (you have to see it) as well as wit and cutting commentary to charm the masses. Katya (Jennifer Palmer) has the most expressive face; you miss quite a lot of the interplay if you take your eyes from her too often (I hear that Katya cuts quite a swath as a singing wench, too). And Leonardo (Ryan Giggoletto) is the cutest gypsy with bad fashion sense that I have ever met.
Over near the Mudatorium
Isabella (Allison Williams)
Arlecchino (Todd Espeland) Devilini
are always ready with to entertain.
Sometimes they play with fire.
Other times they play with sharp instruments capable of producing lots and
lots of pain (would you like to lie on a bed of nails?).
Sometimes they play with both at the same time.
I wonder who had the best fashion sense ... Arlecchino or Leonardo?
I like taking pictures of people in interesting costumes or doing interesting things.
wench with the ribbons
worked at a booth that sells ribbons like she is demonstrating
as well as dream-catcher like ornaments for your hovel, tent or manse
(I describe them as "dream-catcher like" since I'm familiar with
Native American dream catchers ... these aren't quite the same thing, but it's
as close of a description as I can come up with).
I came upon the
over by the SaferSwords booth.
They managed to get in quite a bit of toss-and-catch between rain showers.
And I met the colorful
Lady in Red
at one of the many merchants' booths; I think
she worked there.
The gold embroidery really made the dress pop out and catch the
eye, even with the rain and overcast skies.
I've seen chapels and cathedrals, ruined or otherwise, at quite a few
faires, but Willy-Nilly seems to have the only active
I don't know if this is a coffin waiting for an occupant, or
one where the recently deceased has taken wing, but
it surely gives an interesting touch to the scene, particularly
around All Hallow's Eve.
What would a pirate invasion be without somewhere to buy and sell booty? And what better place to do that than the new Pirates Treasure booth? You can find all sorts of jewelry (I love the amber rings and pendants), weapons, doodads and whatevers at Pirates Treasure. And the prices are reasonable, too!
I am neither an employee of nor a participant at the Ohio Renaissance Festival; I am but a simple patron. All opinions expressed on these pages are my own.
If you're planning on going to the Ohio Renaissance Festival and
want a relaxing place to stay full of creature comforts (including
scrumptious breakfasts on the weekends), give
Joan and Rick a call at 877-722-2525
or drop them an email at
You can also visit their page on the
Ohio Bed and Breakfast Association web site at