Who's Guarding Your Gate?
Opening Weekend 2013: A Hot Time Was Had by All
Well I have to say the opening weekend of the 2013 Texas Renaissance Festival is about the most miserable I’ve been in a long time. Sure we’ve experienced hotter, and wetter, but the temperature and humidity especially on Saturday combined in a perfect storm of no breeze and oppressive humidity that to be experienced to be appreciated. Experienced it was though, as we had nearly 30,000 visitors. Sunday began with heavy rain, thunder and lightning, and when it finally ended we returned to oppressively humid, yet almost another 12,000 visitors graced us with their presence. There were, however, a goodly number of those who succumbed to the heat; I heard lots of calls go out to EMS for heat exhaustion. Even a couple of the Beefeaters needed an extra break. Beer, wonder beverage that it is, remains a poor substitute for water when trying to stay hydrated.
The Beefeaters have a few new faces this year too. I was able to add a couple of positions after a record-breaking 2012. I was a little worried with three recruits and big crowds Saturday, but they acquitted themselves well, and stayed in good spirits despite the weather conditions. I guess the real test will be if they show up next week after being baked then soaked and soaked then baked.
The Beefeaters are also sporting new uniforms this year, which is always a good thing, but there are also usually minor issues and adjustments needed when they are new. You never really know how they will fit until you’ve lived in them for a while. Despite adding to my stress level we did get many compliments on the new attire, and most of the issues were sorted by a Saturday night visit to the tailors and some late night stitchery by the same.
The rain Sunday did allow me to get around the Festival and say “hello” to many of my friends I only get to see this time of year. That may have been my one chance this year, so if I don’t get to see you again this season, don’t take it personally! If I missed you, sorry, but you should have been standing around in the rain waiting for me!
Sunday also afforded me a chance to see some of the improvements to the site (that are visible). The two main ones are the renovated Falconer’s Stage and the new Tower Shops across from the Tower Stage, which was renovated last year. The Falconer’s Stage looks really nice, and features good looking stonework. The actual stage area seems rather small though, and there are rumours of some functional issues. Hopefully that will all be sorted soon. The Tower Shops look very nice, but many of the shops are open on both ends, and the whole thing reminds me of a stable, albeit a very nice one. In all the entire site looks to be in good shape!
Note to self: Whatever you don’t ever say “I think I’ve seen it all” I’ll leave you with a mental image from the Things-You-Can’t-Un-See™ department- Wonder Wo-Man. The metallic sheen scarlet and blue costume, complete with lasso, bracelets, headband and…trainers. The copious chest hair bursting form the cups. The translucent white, fishnet patterned tights that accented the profuse black leg hair perfectly. The package UPS would charge additional postage to ship. The.Back.Hair. Please someone invent mind bleach, and soon.
Sir David Falstaff
Captain, Texas Renaissance Festival Beefeaters