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RenFest Roadtrip!

  • Sep 22, 2011

Exactly one month from today, September 22, myself and a good friend will begin a four hour trek to the Texas Renaissance Festival.  This will be my third year in a row to attend this amazing event, and it will be his first time.  We will be staying for the entire weekend (which I've never done) and will return home late on Sunday evening.

While I wouldn't consider myself a hardcore RenRat (I've yet to dress in costume to attend, nor do I talk with an English accent), I do believe that I'm seasoned enough to create a list of items that are a necessity for attending such events.  Some of the items are needed for the trip, while others can be acquired at the festival itself.

Once my visit to the Texas Renaissance Festival is over, I'll be sure to write up a review of it, the campground we are staying at, and anything we happen to encounter along the way.

Take a look at this list and let me know if I'm missing anything.  I'm sure a few Lunchers out there get there Ren on just as much or more than I do!

Chaucer's Mead
No visit to a Renaissance festival is complete without mead.  This wonderfully sweet honey-based wine is the perfect drink (hot or cold) for the fall season when the Texas Renaissance Festival takes place.

Each time I've visited the festival, I've purchased one bottle of Chaucer's Mead and consumed the entire thing as I passed the day on the grounds.  Chaucer's Mead has an excellent sweet taste to it and isn't bitter at all.  It is sold on the festival grounds in its spiced hot form or cold with the spices attached for later use if desired.

Like all wines that I drink, Chaucer's Mead goes down almost too easy.  Before you know it, you'll be slurring Olde English shanties with the best of'em!

See the full review, "Fill Your Need For Mead".
Light jacket
I suggest bringing at minimum a light jacket with you if you plan to visit the Texas Renaissance Festival.  The weather in this part of Texas during this time of the year varies from day to day.  While you might spend a nice, sunny Saturday at the festival with temperatures reaching into the lower 80's, a quick cold front could blow through that evening or afternoon and you'll wake up to a cold and wet Sunday with temperatures in the 50's.

Of course, if you get too cold on the festival grounds, you can always warm up with some mead!

Wide-brimmed hat
Keeping the sun out of your eyes or perhaps fighting back the rain that might fall on your noggin necessitates a hat, preferably one with a wide brim.  You can bring a hat from home, or buy one at the festival.  All sorts of hats are sold on the festival grounds, and I'm sure you'll find one that suits your taste. 

Camping tent

While there are plenty of hotel and park options for spending the night in the area surrounding Plantersville, TX, a lot of festivalgoers prefer to rough it at the festival's own campground.  As of this writing, a spot in the campground costs $20.  No reservations are allowed and there are no specific spots laid out.  In other words, you set up your tent or camper trailer in any old spot you want.  The grounds can get crowded and from what I've been told, very little sleep actually occurs overnight.  Many of the festival employees will put on "after hours" performance for campers and according to a few people I know, these performances can be rather adult in nature.  While a good tent won't drown out the noise and merriment, it is easy to set up for the night and just as easy to pack away for the trip home.

While I am staying in a tent for the festival, I will be doing so at the KOA Kampground near Lake Conroe.  It will be a lot tamer there during the evening, and they have plenty of creature comforts to boot.

The festival campground offers no utility hook-ups, restrooms, or showers, so keep that in mind before you decide on where you want to stay!

You'll definitely need a camera when you attend the festival.  You'll need it for taking photos of the performances, costumes, and natural beauty of the grounds.  It will also come in handy for getting incriminating shots of your friends doing stupid things that you can post on Facebook later!

While they aren't a necessity, costumes do add to your experience at the Texas Renaissance Festival.  There is actually an area outside of the festival where you can rent a costume for the day.  You'll see people in all sorts of costumes on the festival grounds.  People dress as Vikings, warlords, fairies, witches, Star Wars characters (really, they do), and just about any type of historical or fanciful being you can dream up.  The costumes also range in the amount of body coverage they provide.  Many festivalgoers wear costumes that fall into the "barely there" category, so be forewarned if you get offended by such things.

With that said, however, the bulk of the festival is family friendly.

Smoked Turkey Leg

Almost as important as mead is the consumption of a smoked turkey leg on the festival grounds.  The turkey legs are sold throughout the festival, and you can smell them and numerous other smoked foods being cooked at the festival all day long.  I must warn you that these particular turkey legs are extremely juicy, and it is a good idea to eat the leg with your head extended beyond the range of your feet and/or belly (whichever sticks out the farthest) because there will definitely be some drippage going on! 

Advil Advanced Medicine for Pain 200mg Caplets 50
Whether you use it to relieve your alcohol-induced headache or to help lessen the soreness from trekking all over the place for two days, it's always a good idea to have some pain medicine on hand.

While experiencing all of the revelry and fun of the Texas Renaissance Festival, there's a good chance that you and your friends might get separated.  I was surprised at how good the cell coverage was on the festival grounds, and it won't hurt one bit to have ye olde cellphone handy in case your friend wanders off with a gypsy!

Sunny days can lead to sunburn, so if you're like me and couldn't tan for a million bucks, it's a good idea to bring some sunblock with you.  I suggest the spray-on kind.

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About the list creator
Kendall Fontenot ()
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Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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