The time machine we’ve been tinkering on for the past few years here at Pandora Heights had an absolutely beautiful test flight Saturday. Aloysius Fox and several members of local airships were successfully transported back in time to 14th century Scotland. In other words, it was Steampunk Weekend at the Kentucky Renaissance Fair.
If you have sworn off ren fairs after visiting a hot, dry, colorless, festival that feels more like a strip mall in the middle of a field then I have good news for you. Just outside Louisville you will find a Renaissance fair that does it right. First of all there are a lot of trees. Most of the vendors are woven throughout a forested area that makes the whole setting feel a lot more like Sherwood forest than rural Kentucky. The performers at the fair also do a great job of adding to the atmosphere and making everyone feel like part of the event. Pickled Brothers and Dr. Kaboom were great as always but this time I got to spend a little time in the pub and was able to enjoy the more adult entrainment of Iris and Rose as well as Drunk & Sailor. The price of the drinks were reasonable, the space was comfortable, and the music and acts were unforgettable. I never though I would meet people who could give Charlie a run for his money when it comes to inappropriate innuendo and I even got to give my dirty toast from the Symposium. Next time I go I will make sure that I have no adult responsibilities for the rest of the day so that I can stay longer.
For the Steampunk part of the weekend the fair organizers asked our own Aloysius Fox to come down and run the “Steampunk Fashion Appreciation Gala” (otherwise known as the fashion show.) I was very impressed by the number of people who were there in steampunk dress, especially the number of younger people who had made an effort to dress in the steampunk finest. For those of us who are hoping to make a longterm commitment to the subculture it was a very good sign. When I was there on Saturday there were about forty people signed up for the contest, with everything from a steampunk miner complete with canary to a steampunk fairy. The men’s winner was our own Corey Gross of Roxx Electrocafe. In case you are wondering why Emma Peelout or Calamity Dawn did not win despite their amazing outfits, it’s because they served as judges for the event, along with Spencer.
But I have to say that my favorite part of the weekend was seeing old friends and getting to know some new ones. Charlie and I were thrilled to get to talk to some listeners, including Susan “The Scarlet Seamstress” Rhamsdorff. She was wearing a fabulous outfit with a skirt made of repurposed men’s dress shirts. Unfortunately she is moving to Colorado shortly so we won’t be seeing her out at events too often but she promises to keep listening. We also got to finally know a longtime Facebook friend, Beaker. We’ve chatted a bit online but this was the first time we’d actually gotten to meet face to face. He was kind enough to buy Charlie and I a drink and pointed us in the direction of the very tasty ren fair blend, “The Queen’s Tea.” He also gave Charlie some pointers on his newest fashion acquisition: a kilt!
Overall we had a great time and we are already looking forward to next year, when we will camp nearby so that we can do both days and I can head back to the Twisted Thistle and help Iris and Rose close the place down. And now, just because I like looking at it, the kilt!