‘Exhorting the Gentlefolk’
courtesy of ‘Kevin H.’
UPDATE: THE BOOMERANG PARTY BUS TO THE RENNFEST WITH WE LOVE DC AND THE PASSENGER IS NOW SOLD OUT! THANK YOU!
Ah, yes, it’s that time of year. The time when you begin to have strange cravings for Steak-on-a-Stick, or smoked turkey leg eaten right off the bone, gnawing away with relish like Henry VIII. Perhaps you find yourself speaking in an excruciatingly bad English accent, or inexplicably adding “e” to the ends of words like “Shop” or “Old” – well then my friend, it’s time to don thy frippery best and hie thee to the Maryland Renaissance Festival!
RennFest is always a blast, and this year we’ve decided to really let our inhibitions run wild with some good olde-fashioned goofy fun. Lots of it. And we want you to come along! We Love DC has partnered with The Passenger and the Boomerang Party Bus to bring you to the Maryland Renaissance Festival this Sunday, October 16th! Tickets are $25 and include both your bus ride to and fro ye old faire and your entry admission! Snap them up on the magickal PayPal.
We’ll depart promptly at 11am from The Passenger (that’s at 1021 7th Street NW, milords and ladies) and travel to the Festival in a refurbished school bus replete with music, mayhem and dance poles (Yes, I know that’s an anachronism. But seriously, have you seen The Tudors?). After arrival at the Festival you’re free to wander the Revel Grove, slurp down some oyster shooters, indulge in fried Oreos, beer and bee stings, testing your mad skills at archery or feats of strength, buying chainmail underwear, and just giving in to the kitschy glory that is the Maryland Renaissance Festival. Then our carriage departs around 5pm to hie back to The Passenger just in time for a late, delicious brunch.
So please come along with fellow WLDC authors Don, Fedward, myself and the rest of our motley crew as we join our favorite folks from The Passenger on a trip back in time… I may even wear a corset. HUZZAH!
Bagpipers at the Virginia Scottish Games and Festival by Corinne Whiting
Considering the headlines that dominate news pages these days, who could blame us for craving a bit of escapism? Luckily, an avalanche of September festivals offers ample excuses to wear kooky costumes or to (attempt to) speak in charming accents, to relive the past or to leap into the future. Sometimes we just need a few blocked-off streets or patches of green to catapult us out of familiar surroundings and demand we get lost in the sights, sounds and tastes of another time and place.
Some festivals draw repeat attendees who share such a passion for re-enacting and re-creating it seems more a way of life than a weekend hobby. (Some of these participants seem, sadly, to have been born into the wrong century.) Other fests prove more laid-back—a mix of cultural authenticity and comical distortion. But common denominators? The beer’s usually a-flowin’, the people watching superb.
The season kicks off September 5 and 6 with the Virginia Scottish Games and Festival in The Plains, Virginia. I first attended this lively event a few years back (having just returned from 16 months in Scotland), with expectations, in hindsight, a bit too lofty. (Yes, silly me, I thought I would actually meet some Scots and hear some of those dreamy, melodic accents.) Instead I did find some authentic culture (cuisine like tasty yet feared haggis and steaming meat pies) sprinkled with a bit of stereotype (or perhaps slightly-fudged cultural truths, like the presence of England‘s Newcastle beer) and a few unexpected oddities (a parade in which kilted Americans showcased their plaid-clad “Dogs of Scotland”). But the atmosphere carried charm all the same. I watched proud Virginians sport their family tartan, sheepherders demonstrate their craft, Highland dancers do their joyous jigs and bagpipers echo the captivating drone of their instruments up into a piercing blue sky and out into the rolling Virginia hills. It’s Scottish culture with a twist, but a highly enjoyable day in the countryside all the same.
O’Shucks is a quaint little tavern at the corner of Valley Meade and Meadow Lane, your go-to place for a fall respite, for drinking al fresco under the dappled sun, not too expensive, but certainly tending towards crowded when the weather is nice, attracting a diverse clientele ranging anywhere from families to minstrels, where all sorts of miscreants gather for libations before heading off to jousting and ogling blacksmiths and elephant rides and…
Wait a minute. Not only is that the longest run-on sentence I’ve yet to produce, it’s also not really about a DC neighborhood bar, is it? Yes indeed, it’s We Love Drinks Goes to the Maryland Renaissance Festival! Continue reading