I am a sucker for themed dress-up events like the Sonora Celtic Faire. I love the Irish tunes rippling through the fairgrounds, with the occasional Scottish strathspey straining to be heard. My heart beats hard to the pulsing Celtoid drums of bands like The Wicked Tinkers; my eyes mist over at ballads sung by the venerable harp-and-fiddle band Golden Bough; I make my fiddler swing me in the aisles to the raging reels of Molly’s Revenge.
I cheer at the anachronistic (and questionably Celtic) crash-and-bash heavy armor battles and charging horses carrying jousting knights. I admire the long sword-wielding solders in their swoon-worthy uniforms and leg-revealing hose. I shiver with a thrill of awe at the costumed players pretending to be royalty.
I even salivate at faux-Dickensian food like bangers and mash, and turkey legs bigger than your head. Who doesn’t want to gnaw greasy meat off a bone held like a cudgel in the hand?
But what I like best are the costumes.
I’m a nerd that way. I’m flabbergasted at the creativity of those clever enough to make intricate costumes. Most of the cosplay isn’t historically accurate, but what it lacks in research, it more than makes up for it with creativity and fun.
I mean, the goat people were just awesome.
The knights who bang on each other with wooden swords seem to take their competitions seriously.
The jousting ring was not so serious, with a lot of crowd pleasing banter and only a short display joust. But still, charging Percherons! Guys bashing each other with staves! More, please!
Everywhere boys fought mock battles with swords—toy and real. Even in these modern times, video games flicker dimly when compared to the romance of actually smacking each other with sticks. Real time, real bruises.
Originally I thought I would bring my sketchbook and draw, but the fun of photography won me over, and I captured many images that will grace my easel in the future.
As much as I love to draw, I mostly kept my sketchbook in my bag. There was too much going on. The camera allows me to capture ephemeral moments, like this young man well seated on his mount.
At the end of the day, exhausted, I sat still long enough to dig out my sketchbook and draw while I enjoyed the traditional Irish music of my friends’ band, Cooking with Turf.