SCA & RenFaire Dopers?

I’ve noticed a fair number of SCA and Renaissance Faire related posts here in SD, and I’m wondering how many of us are there? Do you follow the faire circuit, or stick to faires close to home? How many go in garb? Anyone who takes a particularly active role (actors, musicians, etc.)? What’s the bestest part for you?

For location reasons, I’m a Bristol girl. I’m not an SCA member (for that matter, I know very little about the SCA), but the faire is THE highlight of my summers. I go in my version of garb, although I don’t think I’m very historically accurate. My husband likes the Faire too, but he is very much a “don’t call attention to yourself” kinda guy and wouldn’t be caught dead in anything even remotely resembling a costume. Best things for me: men in garb, food, music (MoM), food, Broon?, food, Moonie, food…

Lady Chance and I go every year. Less now that we live 120 miles from the MD fair. We always went to the VA fair but that closed last year.

Now we’re taking the baby, of course. We’re going this weekend and have to come up with a costume for her.


I tend to stick close to home. I was once very active in the SCA, my ex was on the Knight Track and I was a local Herald and Kingdom officer so we traveled quite a bit through Ansteorra and Calontir.

Now days I consider I’ve not wasted the space in my closet that my Elizabethian tavern wench get up takes if I make it Med Faire at OU every year.

I’m a SCAdian, and have been for the last 12 years. I live in New Mexico, and mostly stick to events local to the area (NM, Colorado) but I go to Estrella War in Phoenix pretty much every year, and to Pennsic War every year, out in Pennsylvania. As far as an ‘active’ role, I’m a rapier fighter/ marshall, and a musician. SCAdians for the most part are usually supposed to be in garb, so I do my best to do so. :smiley:

I’ve never really had the opportunity to do the Faire circuit, or even attend a Faire, though I’ve heard a lot of good things about them.


I’m not in the SCA but I love Ren Faires. I go to the New York State Faire every year, in the “Shire of Sterling.” It’s on the grounds of what used to be the Sterling Forest garden park in Tuxedo. I used to throw together outfits out of what I had around-- puffy shirts and leggings, mostly-- but a couple of years ago I bought a full wench get-up, which I love. I doubt that it’s fully historically accurate, but frankly I don’t care-- it’s damn fun to wear!

There’s a much smaller, one day Faire held at the Cloisters here in NYC. Not as many people are in costume for that one, so while I’d like to wear something theme-ish I’m not going in full garb.

The best part for me is the shopping. I’ve gotten some lovely rings at the NYS Faire and picked up a great handmade candle this year. We also made more of an effort to watch some of the various shows and vignettes this year, and I enjoy those a lot. We also stuffed ourselves, but I’m not sure that Blooming Onions and massive plates of fresh chips count as gourmet fare :wink:

My wife, kids and I are active in the SCA in the Twin Cities, and we go to Faire every year, but not in garb on account of we have no garb that’s period to the Renaissance, and we’re kinda funny that way. We used to go to Northern Faire when we lived in California.

For me, the bestest parts are the craftsmen who make stuff on site–the potters, glassblowers, and papermakers who have demos of their stuff. I could watch that stuff all day…

Yes, well, I must confess to laughing a lot about the authenticity issues at the Faire. I’ve seen what Esprix called “authenticity nazis” criticizing costumes while drinking historically accurate Pepsi out of historically accurate wax paper cups. :rolleyes:

Personally, I just love the idea of food-on-a-stick.

SCA (Kingdom of Trimaris) here - garb ranges from early t-tunic to Cavalier (mostly houppelandes, once I finally sew the pieces together). I try to make the RenFaires in Largo in March/April, and Sarasota (one weekend in March). I go in street clothes - let them have their fun (they’re getting paid to perform - I am not), and I don’t have people bothering my fun.

Note for the uninitiated: Faires and SCA events are two different things - SCA is non-profit, events are held most weekends somewhere in the Kingdom/Principality, and an attempt at pre-1600s garb is required (so I wear Cavalier: sue me for a ducat). Faires are profit-based entities held in one place for a limited run (anywhere from one to six weeks), regular clothing is okay, and you can’t bring your own beer.

Unfortunately, from what I’ve seen, there seems to be bad blood between some SCA folks and RenFaire folks. Some folk from each group claim the title of “authentic medieval history” and look upon the other with ill-disguised disdain. Mind you, not all folks are like that. I enjoy a good RenFaire as much as anyone else - I know quite a few SCA folks who merchant at RFs (travelling circuit, BTW) and a couple of folks who spend time in SCA when not performing in the RFs, but a little bad blood and bad feelings can go a long way. In some cases, the feelings may be justified - I know of some people who were burned by RenFaire operators, and I know of some RenFaire folk who were not welcome into the SCA because they were “Rennies”. Pretty piss-poor occasions, but unfortunately, that happens.

Me? Doesn’t bother me, as long as I’m having fun.

I just went to my first RenFaire. It was the Silverleaf Renaissance Faire near Kalamazoo. Quite a fun time was had by Mrs. Dragwyr and my three kids. We will probably go again next year.

screech-owl, thank you for making the distinction. I wasn’t sure if the two were connected in any way, but I did notice overlaps. I’m in the “just-for-fun” category myself, but over time have become interested in the actual historical thingies. Not interested enough to really PURSUE any of it, but interested enough that I have been mentally gathering info for possible pusuit at a later date.

(BTW, Broon!, not Broon? in my OP.)

Back in the early 90s I was a regular at the MN faire. From 1995 to 1999 I was an on-again-off-again member of the SCA in Boston (Carolingia? Eastern Kingdom? Something) but mostly just went to the weekly fencing practices, for lack of anything more entertaining.

I’m debating looking into the SCA again- maybe later this year.

SCAdian here. Lord Joshua MacDonald (the Imperfekt) is a 14th c. Scotsman, belonging to Clan Blue Feather (queers n’ friends), formerly of the Barony of Bhakail (Philadelphia) in the East Kingdom, now residing in the Barony of Calafia (San Diego) in the Kingdom of Caid. Bard, Den Mother, and, of course, lover. <mrowr!> :wink: Been involved for about 13 years, and this year I attended my 12th consecutive Pennsic War.

What’s an SCA princess’ favorite wine? “I wanna go to Trimaris!:wink:

Hoo, boy, I’ll say!

My understanding (although the web site doesn’t actually agree with me) has always been that the SCA encompasses the years 600-1600, including the year 1650, so you fops can have your fun. And, of course, the beginning date is fairly fuzzy - I know of one sitting queen who had an Egyptian persona. Similarly, although we’re supposed to be western Europe, lots of Japanese, Chinese, Persian, um, er, “court visitors” tend to show up. Won’t see that kind of mix at a Ren Faire.

Yup. Each seems to consider that “their way” of re-enactment is the “right way.” Fortunately, the Ren Faire people I know like the SCA just fine, and vice-versa.

And Ino, Boston is the Barony of Carolingia in the East Kingdom. :slight_smile:


I am not a SCAdian but I play one in role-playing games. :slight_smile:

I’ve been surrounded by SCAdians all my life, but I’m more a Renn faire person. While at college I helped run That Medieval Year for four years. The last year I coordinated the 10th Annual Living Chess Games and did a fine job if I do say so myself. :slight_smile: I try to get to the Pennsylvania Renn Fair and the one in Tuxedo. I go to the first for the shows and second to shop! I used to go in garb all the time but lately I like having pockets. Depends on my mood really.

I’ve done some live-action role playing (think “SCA lite!”) but lately I just enjoy going to renfests in garb whenever we can afford to. I’ve gone to every one in garb since the first time I tried it and got a free beer after being mistaken for a cast member…

Besides, where else do you get to swagger around bristling with edged weapons and nobody blinks?

Southern California RenFaire girl checking in…

From about 1992 to 1998 I was a member of the Kingdom of Adria (a group started by some disgruntled SCA members), as my husband (now ex) was a member. They usually camped at the smaller faires around SoCal (Long Beach, Crossroads, Ojai, etc), so our summer weekends were constantly booked. After my divorce in '96, I was still a member as I had many friends in the group. I sort of just fell out of it, as I started culinary school and became too busy to really keep up with them.

I had some great garb–I have somewhere around 6 full ensembles, ranging from peasant to noble. An old pic of me is on the Straight Dope People Pages, in one of my favorite gowns:

I try, when I can, to make it out to a faire now & again, but it’ll be a while before I ever get back into the full swing of it again.

Long time SCAdian, Rennie, and LARPer, myself.

Worked with Florida Renaissance Faire four years in a row as an actor, a patron, and a beer seller, started in SCA in Trimaris, and ave been playing NERO-LARP for about 11 years (started in Massachusetts, moved on to DFW, now in Portland OR).


jpariury~What time period were you involved in Trimaris? I might know you…

Anyway, another SCA old-timer checking in. I will have been active in Trimaris for 15 years next February the 14th.

My personna is a Welsh ignoble ;). Lord Daffydd ap Gryffn at your service.


Vidi Vici Veni!

Yup, SCA’er here. Barony of Three Rivers, in the Kingom of Calontir.

Although it’s been about 5 years since i’ve been to any meetings, i’m heading back to em here in the next couple of weeks. I’ve always enjoyed it.


I began around '92-93, practiced heavy weapons out of Ft. Lauderdale, attended a couple crown tourneys up north of Orlando.

Moved away years later to get into light weapons (schalagger and epee) in DFW, haven’t been to an event in years now, though.


I was in Lauderdale in 1988, but probably ran into you at those Crown Lysts. 92 or 3. Hmm. Treve, Huan or maybe Sir Benen MacTir was on the throne when you were here. [Carol Kane in Addams Family Values]That takes me back![/Carol Kane]


Fighting what since when?