By JAMIE FLATHERS
For Inland 360
Most Moscow residents are familiar with the annual Renaissance Fair, held each year on the first weekend in May in East City Park. Some may even be aware of its activist history, its environmentally sustainable operations, and the tradition of crowning a King and Queen for service to the Moscow community.
What most people don’t know about, however, is the man who travels the farthest to attend: Sir Reginald Paisley Widebottom, the last of the Knights Tempus Fugit, who traveled to the first Moscow Renaissance Fair in 1974 in search of a powerful talisman. He enjoyed it so much that he has come every year since. Sir Reginald spoke with Inland 360 about why he attends the Renaissance Fair every year, his love for tie-dye and the joys of street tacos.
First of all, what is it that you like about the Renaissance Fair? You seem to be able to go anywhere in time or space — why come here?
Dear lady, nothing doth compare. Thou hast musicians, which appear on two raised platforms and make the assembled masses to sit upon blankets. A glorious sight to behold, masses upon blankets! From thence, one can traverse the market of the artisans, and then on to the food. I must tell thee, that first year, I asked for a joint of mutton and was given what I now understand is called a taco. A taco, of all things! No such thing exists in merry old England.
Do you ever feel out of place here?
Nay, my lady, never. Once, because I am the most curious of fellows, I went to a different renaissance fair, and a knave, whom thou callest a “nerd,’ told me my armor was historically inaccurate. The insult! But in Moscow, thy fair is filled with those whom thou callest hippies, and hippies doth accept any person at all who wisheth to celebrate spring and knows about composting.
What’s your favorite thing about the Moscow Renaissance Fair?
The fair hath something for everyone, dear lady. Children canst plunge their hands into what thou callest “arts and crafts.” A knight errant can lay his weary eyes on a parade. The first time I did see the dragon in that parade, I nobly tried to slay him, but he was actually a hippie in disguise, so I asked him about composting instead and he forgave me for trying to slay him. Young and old alike can romp and holler ’round the maypole; and tell me, truly, who among us does not love the vibrancy of what thou callest tie-dye? Thou canst bow to the king and queen, the most noble members of thy community.
Recently, I have discovered the joys of photo-bombing, which doth give me great joy, and in addition to tacos, thou canst eat egg rolls. Truly, the Moscow Renaissance Fair is the most joyous celebration in all of time and space.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Moscow Renaissance Fair
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 5
WHERE: East City Park, Moscow
OF NOTE: Rain or shine, the Moscow Renaissance Fair celebrates its 46th anniversary this weekend. Besides arts and crafts vendors and activities, there will be live music, a beer and wine garden and 15 food non-commercial food booths operated by community organizations. The Maypole Dance is at 1:30 p.m. each day. A costume contest is at 2 p.m. Saturday. The parade is at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.