Missing faire - Jay Maynard

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Sunday, 27 August 2006


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1238 - Missing faire

One of the best parts of coming to Fairmont several years ago was the rich variety of Renaissance faires in the area. There were enough to fill up all of the time that a faire could reasonably be held without freezing solid, run by different folks in different places, enough to lend a subtly different feel to each.

They all shared one feature, though: they were parties with a theme to them, and they made the folks who came feel like they belonged.

Now, almost all of the little Iowa faires have disappeared; there are only two, now, that aren't part of a big corporate machine. I'll miss one this coming weekend, in the Amana Colonies, and if it weren't for the fact that the class I'm going to instead is one I've literally waited for a year to become available, I'd be there. The other one is farther away, and I'm seriously planning to go to it anyway, even though it'll probably mean flying from a customer site to Omaha or Des Moines and driving a couple of hours each way in a rented car.

The other Iowa faires are run by a guy who's plainly in it for the money, and it shows. It just doesn't feel the same. It feels like he wants to be what the Minnesota Renaissance Festival has become: a themed shopping mall with entertainment that never changes, and is an afterthought at best - and grudgingly included.

There's one faire that hasn't lost the magic, and I've raved about it before: the Siouxland Renaissance Festival is a delight to go to every year, and the people are committed to keeping the fun in it.

Like vakkotaur, I don't miss going to MNRF; I probably will skip it entirely this year. I'm also not planning on going out of my way to go to any of the corporate Iowa faires. I went to Siouxland, and will keep going, but I'm missing the other ones, and beginning to have a bit of withdrawal.

current mood: [mood icon] disappointed
current music: ZZ Top - Sharp Dressed Man

(9 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:irpooh
Date: - 0000

Sharing your withdrawal

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Except we are going to perform one week of the new DM faire... the weekend AFTER Labor Day... The TV commercials are interesting... even if it turns out to be an acceptable faire... When Salisbury stopped Siouxland became our "home" faire... Not sure exactly what statement it makes when Iowan's consider a faire in SD their home faire, but I do.

IF we have a home faire IN Iowa then it would be Nodaway... so tiny but so much fun AND the PIE... yes, the PIE... the ladies from the church make the most fantabulous pie... We are scheduled to play part of our sets in the hall where the PIE is... and I'm working on a sign that says "Will play for pie" and trying to make "the PIE'd Pipers play here" work...Assume we will see you there?

We do the DM faire for the $$ and Nodaway for the PIE! Siouxland we do because we love it. And the rest fall somewhere between for the $$ and like it.
[User Picture]
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000

Re: Sharing your withdrawal

(Link)
If I do make it to Nodaway, it'll be that Saturday: I'll probably fly into DSM or OMA Friday evening and stay near the faire Friday and Saturday nights, going to the faire Saturday and flying out Sinday.
[User Picture]
From:melissasutton
Date: - 0000

Re: Sharing your withdrawal

(Link)
*SNUG*

Having Siouxland be your home faire - wow - I'm honored, utterly honored =)

Pie? Nodaway has pie??

OOh! Ok see you in what.. 3 weeks? Wow, I'll actually get to see you twice before the season ends! =)
[User Picture]
From:e_ticket
Date: - 0000
(Link)
I used to go to the ones here in SoCal all the time as a kid -- I remember that they had a really ragtag, breezy vibe, not corporate at all. My dad and I stopped going when I was about ten or twelve, because they started to be run by big promoters and seemed to lose their soul a bit.

Nowadays, I'm sure they're HUGE businesses.
[User Picture]
From:melissasutton
Date: - 0000
(Link)
*hugs*

I never got to go to Salisbury and Amana is so far away I don't know what I'm missing but I have to agree that even after only 6 years of going to faire, Gregfaire has no heart. Agreeing with IRPooh Rosaleen Dhu has done Gregfaire in the past for the money and the experience - but it is not done for the joy.

Thank you so much for your praise of Siouxland. It will continue to touch me to the heart when someone is happy with all of our hard work =)
[User Picture]
From:vakkotaur
Date: - 0000
(Link)

You did get to Salisbury once. I remember how you were quite concerned with how (the very first) Siouxland would look in comparison to the by then established Salisbury.

[User Picture]
From:melissasutton
Date: - 0000
(Link)
OH!

DOH - I meant Waterloo - i never got to waterloo, got to Salisbury the year before Siouxland opened, which as I recall was the year before they closed!

I did like Salisbury, being only the 2nd faire I had ever seen I was quite happy with it =)
[User Picture]
From:kazriko
Date: - 0000
(Link)
Huh. We live in a tiny city over here, and have not only 2 faires, but a Celtic festival as well. I don't think any of them are are run by any corporation, except maybe SARG. All 3 of them are single weekend events though.
[User Picture]
From:thatguychuck
Date: - 0000
(Link)
What makes the Siouxland Festival special to you?

I've been working Ren Fairs for 15 years now and I've found a variety that I like and dislike. I think my favorite to work has been a (at the time) small festival just outside Kalamazoo, Michigan. They didn't serve alcohol, the community was fun, and the patrons enjoyed themselves. It made it a pleasure to be there.

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