by April 13th, 2012-
Gail Martin joins us on the blog today to share her recent experiences from the Arizona Renaissance Festival and tons of great photos from the event. If you’ve never been to a Renaissance Festival it’s a pilgrimage every fantasy fan should make at least once. So check out what Arizona has to offer or let us know which festivals you frequent.
This was my fifth year as a guest author at the Arizona Renaissance Festival, and from having been a guest author equally long at the Carolina festival, I’ve gotten to know many of the vendors, performers and artists. So going is always like an extended book signing plus old home week.
Ann Chamberlain hosted me at her marvelous bookshop near the joust, where I greeted passers-by, offered them a free bookmark, and managed to fry my cleavage (ouch!) despite what I thought had been good application of SPF 70 sunscreen. It’s fun to see readers whom I’ve met from previous years and chat about the books, life, and in many cases, their writing projects which are still works in process (keep on writing!).
Of course, I love reconnecting with old friends like artist Ruth Thompson, Raphael from the Tortuga Twins, Don Juan and Miguel, the Tartanic gang, and Zilch the Torysteller, and several of us were able to meet up for dinner on Sat/Sun. Despite spending most of my time at the shop with the books (a very good thing!), I did meander around, and managed not to go on a shopping spree by reminding myself that almost nothing would fit in my carry-on luggage!
The folks from the Croft (a small recreated village on the grounds) even brought me a little home-made haggis, which I had never tried before (and found to be very good—who knew?). I tried to drink enough Mt. Dew to stay hydrated in the Arizona sun, and snagged a soft pretzel or two as the vendor wandered by.
The festival is in the foothills of the Superstition Mountains, which are very compelling to me. Coming from the East Coast, I’m also intrigued by the desert landscape, with the saguaro cacti, and all manner of “strange” plants I don’t see back home. I also enjoy the effort Arizona goes to with its rock art around the highway on and off ramps, although one large installation near Mesa, which I think was meant to be roadrunners, looked an awful lot like the Partridge Family logo (just sayin’). Couldn’t help humming Come On, Get Happy when I drove by it!
On to the pictures!