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Ren Fest 2016

Over the weekend we put on our flower crowns and  got a chance to partake in our favorite end-of-summer tradition… The Minnesota Renaissance Festival! How do you even pick a favorite part? It’s all the things we love…  knights, jousting, mermaids and fairies (because those are totally part of history), performers of all sorts, and the occasional turkey leg, of course. 


This year, Cece got pulled on stage to be one of the tiny troubadours. I’m glad she gave it a try even though she was nervous at first. See her in the corner playing the triangle?

 

 


If you can’t tell, the girls and I found the mermaid cove to be absolutely captivating. It never gets old. We may have entered the line three times to visit the mermaids and receive gifts of gems. (By the third visit, I had Joe go on without me so I could go eat a blooming onion by myself… See? Something for everyone.) Also, I loved how we had to tell Rosie to stop petting the mermaids tail so we could get a photo.

 

 

We visited the Princess Court where the girls could dress up (although both opted not to. Cece insisted on wearing my skating dress from the 1998 ice show… I mean, you really can’t compete with that kind of vintage ensemble : )

Also, Cece decided that her heart’s desire this year was to try out the big trampoline. What’s more fun than watching your first-born voluntarily get catapulted into the air?

 

The answer is watching your two-year-old also get catapulted because you gotta do everything that your big sister does!

 

It’s not a true festival day without pony rides!

 

Or archery.

 

 

 
Oh yes, and the juggling and breathing of fire also cannot be skipped.
 
We met a variety of characters on the street including this wind-up mechanical man.

 

 

The girls insisted on riding the enormous rocking horse. Who were we to stop them?

I’m glad to say that we did manage one family photo from the day… sitting on the throne of swords. To be framed, no?

 

 

 

 
Sherwood Forest and Fairy Wing forest proved magical as always. (Even through walking with little ones over the forest terrain always stresses me out a little)

 

 
After about four years of Renaissance Festival visits, we FINALLY managed to see a live joust to end the day. While eating ice cream. I’m sure that’s how spectators used to do it back in the day. It was very clangy and bangy, but still fun!

 

I think the most amazing part of the day is that we were at the fest for about six hours and the girls (without naps) held it together and had such a great time! No naps, but also no meltdowns of any kind. Not when it rained a little bit (“Oh, it’s just a little Scottish weather!”) or when we had to hike for miles in the mud to get to and from our car, or even when we had to leave a fun event.
 
Thank you to my family for such a wonderful day and to all of the fantastic people who continue to put on such an entertaining  festival. We may be back again before the season is over!
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