- Sharron Montgomery Pena
Sundays at the Renaissance
Updated: Aug 21, 2020
I was recently inspired for this post when I was trying to come up with something for my weekly reflection on sunday. I was thinking yeah, if I was at Bristol, I would be enjoying the sleepy Sunday start.
For me, Saturdays are almost always fraught with a bit of uncertainty about what the weekend will bring. Will the birds respond well? Will it be packed? Will it be hot (usually yes)? The energy is always high from opening straight through till after the gates close for the evening. The transition from our weekday schedule training the birds and conducting our routine activities to being in character and entertaining the masses for 9 straight hours can be overwhelming sometimes. Once it's all underway, things work out, everything usually runs smoothly, and the birds are usually charming and entertaining and, as I've learned through the years, always loved by their fans, whether they are cooperative or not.
Sundays are almost an entirely different experience for me, and one I learned to enjoy. By the time Sunday rolls around, I'm usually squarely in the groove of things. I don't feel rushed because the pace, set by our patrons, is usually more relaxed more patience and more conversational. The crowds can sometimes be huge, but I think overall because people have to go back to work on Monday, they rein it in a little and don't go too far overboard on the partying, alcohol or not. Nevertheless, we love all of our crowds, but I just feel that I get more quality over quantity on our Sundays.
Like us, it seems that the birds are also "in the groove," on Sundays. I can usually expect the birds that had difficulty on Saturday to have a completely successful show on Sunday. They also get to eat as much as they want on Sunday as we usually give everyone off on Monday. It would almost make you wonder if they are keeping track of their days waiting for that "gorge" of food that follows Sunday's performances. Likewise, I always feel that because of the relaxed pace the birds seem to be less overwhelmed with the crowds which lends to quality one on one interactions, and a little good natured fun as well.As one of my fellow performers mentioned today, Sunday is for all of us who do renn faires like everyone else's Friday in the 9 to 5 world.
And let us not forget that after Sunday faire is when we gather together with our fellow renn faire workers or "rennies" and rehash all that happened over the weekend, the good, the bad, and well, the bizarre. One of my favorite things to ask and be asked is " how was your day?" Hot or cold, rain or shine, crowded or not, the experience binds us together makes us family. We blow off steam listening to our friends play music in the dark ,in the dust, eaten alive by mosquitoes. We dine together at our favorite Sunday restaurants and revel at being pampered with good food and drinks. Or, sometimes we shower, eat leftovers and sleep as soon as our heads hit the pillows. Every weekend is different, that's for sure, but Sundays are always sweet!
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Photo by Ivan Phillips