The Texas Renaissance Festival: transported into a fantasy world

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Abby Savitz

Sophomore Brooke Bushong reenters the fantastical world of the Texas Rennaisance Festival.

When I was a kid I was obsessed with fantasy novels, particularly Narnia and Alice in Wonderland. The thing that brought those two books together for me was that ordinary kids could somehow find a magical world that promised adventure. Whether it was a closet, like Narnia or just a dream, like Alice in Wonderland, these kids now had access to an adventure of a lifetime. I was insanely jealous of these characters because I would have given anything to be in an alternate world for even a day.

On October 23rd, my dreams came true. I went to the Texas Renaissance Festival. The Texas Renaissance Festival is an annual festival located in Todd Mission, Texas. It recreates the Renaissance time period, while adding magical elements. 

When I walked through those entrance doors, I was transported into a different world. I was immediately met with a parade of workers in elaborate costumes, playing old folk music and throwing flowers. 

Junior Abby Savitz and me at the Renaissance Festival (photo by Abby Savitz).

The shops were an experience in itself. Every store was decked head to toe with stuff I have only ever seen in movies or heard about in books, like real swords or renaissance dresses. They were small and cramped, but for some reason it felt fitting and I kind of liked it. I shopped until I heard what sounded vaguely like rock or sailor music. 

I followed the sound to see what was going on. I zig zagged through the festival, passing girls feeding ducks, fried food stands, carriage rides and more until I found the source. It was a rock band that had turned old sailor songs into punk music. 

Being there felt refreshing. It was like all the stress of school and theater had evaporated. I could just run around and do anything I want. I could watch the valiant jousting matches. I could go try all the versions of fried food they had. I could even watch the singing and acting performances. It was a much needed distraction. It was like I was a kid again. I was unabashedly excited about everything, and I had the energy for all of it. 

If walking in felt like a start of an awesome fantasy novel, leaving felt like the bitter end. As I got closer and closer to my car I could feel my heart sink more and more. Suddenly I remembered all the assignments I had left to do, and all the stuff I had to deal with at home. Driving home felt like impending doom. I distinctly remember saying, “the worst part of this day is that it’s ending.” 

I think on some level the Renaissance Festival was a form of escapism. I was in an unfamiliar place, rooted in fantasy. I was wearing things that I never wore before, with people I knew I would never see again. 

I plan on going back to the Renaissance Festival soon, and I am so excited to be transported into that world again.