Fond Memories: WV RenFest 2023

How do! The memories are only a few days old, but still, if it ain’t happening now, it’s a memory!

Day One before the opening cannon, waiting for the customers.

Needless to say vending at our first renaissance festival was quite a trip. We didn’t see any fire breathing possum, but that may be because it came out at night, and we like good villagers were safely home in our beds.

We weren’t blessed with perfect weather (hit with thunderstorms both days that made for some dramatic moments of covering up our product and getting surprise water releases from the tent roof) but other than a soggied game or two and some sprinkled soaps that dried out without a problem, we came through quite well. The games are cloth and glass, so they will be cleaned and good to go. Every time we always collected a few of the faire-goers to shelter. Even had our buddies from the Dragon’s Den drop by! Always good to see Allen and company.

Sales went well, and it was a blast to see so many people come by. We even had fun interacting with the passing players. Our booth was visited by the King and members of his family and court, a few wandering friars. Robin Hood and the Sheriff dropped by for some witty banter. I tried to sell him some games to help keep his men merry in the woods, alas no dice. He found the harpoons of particular interest, but at the same time bows and swords were more his thing.

We did find one taker for a harpoon.

A local fisherman found it a great way to go after some bigger catches!

Our booth offers a variety of items related to my books and many people were very happy to see such amusements offered at the fair. We had also a few who were very interested in the games, and we taught several people how to play Morris as well as Fox and Geese. A few wonderful souls were able to get their first Tafl sets, too.

Speaking of wonderful guests, we had an absolute blast meeting a gentleman by the name of James, a truck driver who was effervescent with joy. He saw our games and rushed over and asked about them and we got talking and how he got there. Apparently he was having breakfast at the local truck stop restaurant (The Meeting Place at Alta Station. It’s a great place for a good American style meal.) When paying his tab, the waitress asked if he was there for the ren festival. He’d never heard such a thing. She explained it to him and he got very excited, so she gifted him a ticket. He immediately dropped his trailer at the truck stop and drove his 18 wheeler into the festival grounds. Now mind you, the parking there is a grass field of rolling hills and one lane/two rut roads! That man’s got skills, I can tell you! He got it in there and then came in and was dumbstruck with what the Festival was like. Thankfully one of the festivals biggest fans found him wandering about at a loss and took him under his wing to show him about and learn about it. Thank you to Crowfoot for doing such a wonderful service! James was a delight to chat with, and I got to talk a little trucking past with him, and he was happy to purchase all the books to support a fellow (ex)trucker. I hope you’ve got your ears on James. You helped make the event so much more special for us! Long story short, he ended up behind on his delivery but more the enlightened Renaissance man for it, and after hearing a bit of his history, he very much IS a Renaissance man!

Our second day setup. The games moved to the other side, and the wooden crossbows and pistols came up front with the soaps. (I also have moved many times since the previous picture of me despite rumors.)

The wonderful thing about the WV Ren Fest is it’s cozy location, nestled in a mountain valley. It’s small yet very lively. The performers and vendors are quite friendly and a talkative lot. I felt at times like I had run away and joined “Ye Olde Circus”. I would have loved to have been able to stay all 4 weekends of the festival, but alas, we didn’t know how busy sales would go and whether our stock could last out. NEXT year! We will see about extending our weekends there.

This won’t be our only time this summer we dip our toes in the festival water. On the weekend of June 17th not only is Lucid Reality launching, but we will be at the West Virginia Celtic Fest and Highland Games in Beverly, WV. We’ll be looking forward to some of the performers we met being there.

So thank you to all of the guests, staff and performers who made our first renaissance festival such a wonderful experience. We hope to see you all either as guests this year, or vendors the next!

So there you have it, friends, family and foes alike. Drop on by this little plot of heaven in the Greenbrier Valley of WV and enjoy a trip into a Brigadoon slice of enchantment if only for weekends in the month of June.

Till next time, then. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and get a free short story. Lucid Reality launches June Sept 17th. Okay? Okay!

Vaya con Dios, my friends!

It ain’t over till the dinosaur plays the bagpipes.