Valorous Days At The Renaissance Festival!

Scarborough Ornate Logo PS

Got your tights on?

Enter the realm of a vast Elizabethan 16th Century where real noblemen wear tights and the dames become fair maidens or Queens.   Rebirth thyself and filleth your goblet!  Prepare to danceth with the wenches, tighten up thy  c’rset and consume liketh a king wh’re food is bett’r on sticks!

4260-C-160430 Dancing Doll

“Dancing Doll” Photo of Dancer by Chris Reed, Photo of Entrance & Enhancement by Tanya Elise’ Howard

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4256-C-155405 Sprezzatura

“Sprezzatura ” Photo by Chris Reed, Photo Enhancement by Tanya Elise’ Howard

 

The Ren Fair takes you back to the Olde Worlde wh’re thee may cometh as thou art ‘r or dresseth the parteth!

Yes, it’s true!

This is the venue where you will frolic with the local villagers, shop the shoppes, gaze at the shows, cheer on a knight amid the joust and engage with the wondering actors in character.

 

 

 

 

 

You will find well crafted ensembles of the Sirs, Madames, Mistress’, Dames, Lords, Majesties and Graces exhibiting an array of Renaissance garments, hats and robes!

Take your camera!

4259-C-155913 Elan Pottery

“Elan Pottery” Photo by Chris Reed Photo Enhancement by Tanya Elise’ Howard

 

 

Bring plenty of cash to shop, eat, drink and be merry!  And don’t worry, the bathrooms are ample and appropriately marked as ‘Privies’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Renaissance period may have settled it’s end in the 16th century, but in Waxahachie, the medieval time grows forever every year!

The second Saturday brought over 240,000 patrons on a beautiful sunny Texas day!

That’s a lot of costumes!
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“Willful Whim” Photo by Chris Reed Photo Enhancement by Tanya Elise’ Howard

 

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Keeping with tradition, there seems to be a wonderment in wit among the Medieval working class and courtesans where the recreations at the celebration are reinvented in a poetic way.

4128-TH-0542HC To Troll or Not To Troll

“To Troll or Not To Troll” Photo & Enhancement by Tanya Elise’ Howard

I thought this leprechaun was adorable!

He sits quietly in the woods hidden amid his mischievousness and rainbow of treasures!  Hide your golden coins for he will surely snatch’em from your pockets when you aren’t looking!

 

 

Please tread lightly if you want to see his wee bit of trickery!

The fair makes for a wonderful family day where the children have more than enough to caper through.   Since kids love dressing up, it’s a perfect time for them to ham it up and be a part of an amazing adventure!

Gather them up for pleasures at the Mermaid Lagoon, Birds of Prey Show, the Children’s Knighting Ceremony, the Cirque Du Sewer Animal Show, the Dragon Swing, Pony & Elephant Rides and heaps more!

4263-TH-0547 Princess To Be

“Princess To Be” Photo & Enhancement by Tanya Elise’ Howard

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During the Middle Ages and Renaissance period, the proud Knights jousted their way through tournaments showing off their horsemanship and prowess.  The richest of Nobles concocted elaborate melees of combat for the Kings of their time.

4265-TH-0528A Knight’s Prowess

“Knight’s Prowess” Photo & Enhancement by Tanya Elise’ Howard

One of the most applauded shows at the Renaissance Festival is “Knights of the Realm” , the Joust, where you can see firsthand their full armors, gallantly dressed horses and brave heroic Lords fighting for their Knighthood.

This photo was quite dusty, so I decided to hatch through the soot and sand to create a more aged fine arts portrayal.  For my photography website, I did a painting…How would you like a Knight hanging on your wall?

 

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5123-TH-0522B Dragon’s Trove

“Dragon’s Troll” Photo & Enhancement by Tanya Elise’ Howard

 

 

You can shop for corsets, weaponry, leather work, glassworks, jewelry, toys, candles, metal and woodworks!

These are no dinky souvenirs, either.  The people who run these shops are seriously skilled craftsmen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you think about Medieval times, one wonders off into fairytale land where Dragons glimmer the landscape with their breath of fire.  At the Ren Fair you’ll indulge your merry clan with oodles of dragons in all sizes and up to large statues spitting water.  The shops at the festival always capture my heart and pocketbook!  I can’t leave without a souvenir to relic my walls, neck or head!

This photo was tough for me to work with.  It would turn out all green or all gold; sadly without a focal trophy in the scene.  So, once again, I decided to create a painting with it….no more greeeeeen!

Speaking of dragons…

Have you ever had a Dragon Snort?

There’s plenty of merriment advancing through the pub houses and taverns.  New for 2017, graze on over to the Dragon’s Lair for your very own Dragon Snort….

Warning: Do not pack your lunch!

Why?  The “Kitchens” are abundant and overflowing with traditional savory cart du joir menus.  Hunt down those turkey legs, munch on a Sausage-On-A-Stick, lick through the funnel cakes and catch all the Blackboard Specials.  This is a day to eat the “Ren-Way”!

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“Harp Monet” Photo & Enhancement by Tanya Elise’ Howard

 

 

The manifest of performers is endless and once you are there, you can’t help but seek them out!

I found Sarah Mullen mesmerizing the crowd amid her harp music with a celtic flair!

 

 

 

 

 

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4262-TH-7306 Scarborough Entrance

“Scarborough Entrance” Photo & Enhancement by Tanya Elise’ Howard

 

Commence yourself into the affluent and vibrant society of the Old Worlde; the Scarborough Renaissance Fair only comes but once a year in Waxahachie.

Maketh thy plans this present day…

April 8 through May 29th

10:00am – 7:00pm

Saturdays, Sundays and Memorial Day Monday

Visit Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, Texas!

With a packed-full list of 27 Stages and Live Entertainment,

be sure to check out the Daily Schedule!

Get thee hence!

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If you are interested my photography above, I spawned more of painterly art works from my original photos:

Owl Chemist

Ren Gateway

Scarborough Entrance

To Troll Or Not To Troll

Knight’s Prowess

Dragon’s Trove

Please visit my “Contact Me” page if you are inspired with anything further!

To see more of Chris Reed’s photos, visit his “My Travels” Facebook page!

(Chris is my loving and awe-inspiring nephew!  Thank you, Christopher, for all you do with me and for me!)

 

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Quote Of The Day:

“The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G. K. Chesterton

What costume will you wear to the Ren Fair?

Would love to hear your comments!

 

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Bluebonnet Ballyhoo ~ Trails You Won’t Want to Miss

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You won’t want to miss the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails when you visit Texas in late March through April!

 

 

 

 

Your first stop “should be” an educational visit at the Ennis Convention & Visitors Bureau so you can pick up a map!  If you scour the internet for the Bluebonnet Trails referenced street guide of the blooms, chances are you won’t find the map.  So, I made one!

4278-THM Bluebonnet Trails Map

Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Map

While I parked myself before the desk at the visitor’s center asking questions and looking for a trail map, the friendly assistant shared with me they prefer guests stop in to pick up the actual Bluebonnet Trails Map from them!

The reason made sense.

While daily changes occur from pastures to meadows the coverage can be sprinkled, widespread or utterly populated so far as your eyes can see.   And since they change day-to-day the Park’s employees report back as to which trails are in best bloom for people anxious to see the very best.

She highlighted the North Trail and away we went!

4271-TH-7456 Fred & Ethel

Ennis Convention & Visitors Bureau

 

 

 

Before I left I took a quick picture of Fred & Ethel…

But first…

Anticipation glides through your thoughts with hopes of spotting as many bluebonnets as possible when you hit the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails.  Along your journey to explore their beauty a sudden espy crowds into your range of what Texas lifestyle is all about.

For my visit this year Chris (my nephew) and I had not even landed at the downtown Ennis Visitor’s Center yet when we pulled over on Highway 287 to enjoy these Texas Longhorns grazing and gazing back at us.

4266-TIA-7400 Apricari Afternoon art

Longhorns ~ Ennis Texas ~ Bluebonnet Trail

With every mile and every moo, bluebonnets were everywhere!  Woohoo!

Still in search of the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails ~ “before the map” ~ and along Highway 287 from Waxahachie, eye-popping blue florals and Indian Paint Brushes glazed chromatically just as we entered the boundaries of this quaint Texas town.  Pulling off toward the right and up a hill we entered Bluebonnet Park which is part of the West Trails.

The park rests peacefully next to Bardwell Lake (great for fishing) with picnic gazebos, park benches, play areas, walking trails, softball fields and good ole’ restroom facilities.  This is an excellent afternoon hangout for families or anyone wanting to take photos!

I wanted to create a painting from one of the picnic gazebos since it was such a serene and secluded section of the park.  The bluebonnets bounced around the grass and covered fields beyond.

Here is the original photo:

4270-THB-7413 Sunday Afternoon

Bluebonnet Park ~ Ennis Texas

At last we entered Ennis, enjoyed the downtown area and merrily snagged our map for the day.  Finally!!

Following along the North Trail we made our way to Sugar Ridge Road.

If you look beyond the blues of the blossoms….

Expect more and savor the 3-hour drive!

4269-THB-7572 Frente al día

Belgian Horse ~ Ennis Bluebonnet Trail

As we spun up a hill and from a distance we thought a small herd of Clydesdale Horses were cheering their way toward the fence line as we came to a gentle halt in my Mountaineer;  hopping out slowly not to scare them away.  Apparently people trekking their way up to pet them was no strange experience for them; they loved it!

A couple of ladies stood next to us in awe and explained these were instead Belgian Draft Horses! Once home I did a little research and learned these massive animals are among the strongest of draft horses where their heritage in life had them pulling heavy plows or carts with their powerful natural abilities.

Enjoying our petting spree and photo opp, I really wished I could have taken a ride on one where the bluebonnets blossomed and the sun was perfectly splashing across the hills and ponds.

These amazing horses put on quite the show for us!

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Sugar Ridge Road Pond ~ Ennis Texas Bluebonnet Trail

Now this was a prime and popular spot along the trails!  Yep, there were loads of vehicles and yet everyone had patience and manners allowing individuals to roam the roadside and shoot family photos or scenic pleasures!

We spent quite a bit of time here where everywhere you turned was an amazing country scene to include in our memoirs!

And the drive drove on….

4274-TH-7493 Elsewhere

Union Hill Harley Davidson Barn

Passing by this Harley Barn and farm while photographing like crazy on Sugar Ridge Road made me add a….

“Note To Self”:  Next year do this on a Harley!

Just another example of what your eyes will smoke out along the route!

Snapping around 356 pictures on this gorgeous April 4th, 2017 sunny clear day, it was hard to resist moments stomping around within the pastures filled with the famous Bluebonnets of Texas!  The fields are alive with blue and purple hues during late March and most of April each year.

It’s a photographer’s and painters haven!

While the sun was getting close to setting we made our way back to the popular Texas town!

While you might want to visit Ennis for their Bluebonnet Trails, nearby Texas Motorplex, Ennis Farmers Market, the Bluebonnet Fest, Red White & Bike Parade or their National Polka Festival you are most likely to spend a night or two, right?

4273-TH-7473 Moore Ventura

Moore Ventura Bed & Breakfast ~ Ennis, Texas

Texas Historical Landmark

Member of the Texas Bed & Breakfast Association

My choice is to unpack my duffels and secure a cozy stay at Moore Ventura Bed & Breakfast.   Just stepping your first foot on the porch persuades you to stick around for more of all they offer beyond that cushy bed!  1905 was the building year for this outstanding Neoclassical Revival home.

Start the morning with an elegant experience including a 2-course gourmet breakfast selection along with sipping the local based “Buna Bean” coffee.  You may never leave the house once you discover its country charm throughout the garden, patios, kitchen, reading room and opulent Victorian clawfoot bathtub!

4279a-TH-7470 Afternoonscape

Moore Ventura Bed & Breakfast ~ Ennis, Texas

Here’s a nice view of a befitting casual patio and garden area just off the main entrance deck of Moore Ventura Bed & Breakfast.  I truly believe if you stay here a couple of nights you’ll feel the rewards of a well deserved escape from a normal day’s journey in life!

The garden is perfectly maintained and calls your name to come sit quietly and enjoy the silence!

This sums up a long beautiful day where memoirs will sway and waltz forever as a Texas milepost calls our names to return and do this again!

Proof why we love bluebonnets:

There are songs and poems written about these appetizing wildflowers, Indian lore called the flower a gift from the Great Spirit, there are popular festivals and fair events celebrating the blossom, families and couples spend hours finding the right roadside spot to create memoirs through their cameras, pet lovers sprawl inches away from their furry critters to take their photos, gift shops and boutiques adorn their outlet with garments and souvenirs for us to lavish and show off and finally, of course, it just makes for a beautiful scenic drive no matter where you are in Texas!

And thanks to Lady Bird Johnson, lush and ornate blossoms are abundant along the highways and byways of The Lone Star State!

Oh and one more thing…

Did you know bluebonnets are part of the pea family? 

But beware, they can be quite toxic to humans.

If you are interested my photography above as paintings and to see others I created:

Moore Ventura

Sugar Ridge Byway

Afternoonscape

Apricari Afternoon

Frente al día

Only In Texas

Elsewhere

Along The Fence

Vista Mere

Donkey Daze

You may also use my CONTACT ME FORM for any other requests!

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Quote Of The Day:

“Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.” — Lawrence Block

 

 

Have you been to the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails?  

Please leave your comment!