Carnies generally have an unkempt, disheveled look to them. When you see them at the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair, you think to yourself, "Damn, what meth lab and/or Renaissance festival turned these guys down?"
Well, say what you want about their appearance or undeclared taxable income generated from their homegrown narcotics sales -- the carnies at the Miami Renaissance Festival know how to look and act the part.
Like meth labs, Renaissance festivals allow you to see and experience things you normally wouldn't see on a day-to-day basis. It's a wondrous world filled with dragons, midgets, and funny accents. The Miami Renaissance Festival, which runs through April 8th at the Cauley Square Historic Village about two miles south of buttfuck Egypt, is no exception. If you're into shit like Dungeons & Dragons or Magic: The Gathering, you're probably aware of what to expect and have already written up a list of errata which questions the event's authenticity. If not, read on and judge whether or not it's worth your time.
had never been to a Renaissance festival. The closest experiences I've
during my college years, usually after putting in my hours at the Burlington Coat
Factory which, contrary to what they may lead you to believe, are most
definitely not mooooore than great coats. I'm not exactly an expert, is what I'm saying.
But here's what I gathered upon entering: The Miami Ren-Fest
takes place sometime in the late 15th century or very early 16th
century, based on the fact that you can find Ferdinand of Aragon,
Isabella of Castile, and their batshit insane daughter Princess Joanna among the characters. Beyond the magical gates flanked with rebellious teens dressed the part but still
exhibiting the "fuck my parents for making me do this" attitude, you
enter what's gotta be South Florida's biggest playing-pretend party
since the mayoral recall election.
find everything: knaves, maidens, bards, swashbucklers, wenches, and
other words I just Googled to give this narrative more color. The scene's got a
very carnival-esque feel to it; you walk around and people with
surreptitiously worn digital Casio watches do their best fake British
accents and pander to your desire to impress those around you by playing a game of chance. There was a game called "spear throwing" which
consisted of the player picking up a spear, and then throwing it. Renaissance-era game-namers were truly masters of their craft.
point, in the archery range, I found myself immersed in the atmosphere --
only to have it blown when I heard some guy yelling at his friend, "Oye,
oye, oye, papo, mira p'aca." I tried to play it off like it was just
some sailor from Cádiz until he said, "Ñoooo."
seemed to be a stage at every turn. There were some commoners doing
improv, some wenches washing clothes (as wenches are known to do, even to
this day), musicians musing, dancers dancing, and comedians telling jokes
about the king or how their child died of being a child in the 15th
century. Then there was some genuinely cool shit like a couple of
falconers letting you snap a photo of you and your friends making direct
eye contact mere inches away from the evolutionary remnants of a
the coolest, most chest-hair-puttingest thing at the festival is
jousting. If you're unfamiliar with what jousting is, it's the medieval
period's version of two tanks ramming into each other -- a simile, by the way, which
would garner way more enlistments into the army than those bullshit
"army of one" ads. It's two dudes on
horseback wearing heavy plate armor running directly into each other
with lances. The first one to get knocked off loses, and presumably gets
beheaded by the fat, non-Jonathan Rhys Meyers version of Henry VIII.
It's violent, pointless, and fun as shit to watch while eating a fat-ass
Unfortunately, I missed the last showing for the
day. So because of that, I'm going to make up a story of how things
It was a dark and cold spring afternoon in
Miami. On one end, Bastien Faucher, French knight hailing from Louis
XII's court. On the other, Diego Antonio Aragonés, representing the
Spanish crown. Announcing the bout was Joey Martinez, Cuban-American kid
from Braddock High School who asked someone if he could do it and they
said, "Sure, whatever, I'm on break."
Decked in full plate armor, the two
knights prepared for combat, locked eyes, and awaited Mr. Martinez's go. Lord Bastien set his iPhone to vibrate. As the roar of the crowd
reached its zenith, the horses neighed following the slap on the ass and
hurled toward each other. Metal to metal, the two fearless warriors
missed lances. Then they did it, like, four more times until one of them
finally got hit and fell off his horse at which point everybody got up
and left to go eat mini doughnuts and get baked. The end.
place is open from 10 a.m. to sundown, so around 7 p.m. There's enough
stuff going on that you can spend a whole day there, though depending
on your attitude you may find yourself saying things like, "Alright dude, I just
want a beer, quit fucking around making jokes about how strange my
currency is." Considering you're going to be driving to Cutler Ridge,
AKA Miami's asshole, you might as well make a day of it. It's worth it,
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and probably even more so if you dress up.
Besides, what would you rather be doing this weekend, hiding eggs in plain sight for stupid little kids, or totally not that?