This newfound habit of mine, in which I post here on Monday through Thursday and then don’t post at all Friday through Sunday, is not an intentional habit at all; it’s just one of those seeming habits that gets dictated from without by external realities. In this case, it’s that we left town Saturday and did not return until Sunday. The reason for our trip was our annual visit to the Sterling Renaissance Festival. I took a lot of photos on this trip, and you can see them all at the Flickr album here (I’ll have more to say on the general topic of photography later this week, I hope), but here’s a small selection:
The Sterling Renaissance Festival remains one of our favorite getaways of the year, and this year’s was especially delightful because we all hadn’t been able to attend since 2019, before COVID. The Festival was canceled in 2020 and I’m not sure if it happened in 2021 or not, but that year we couldn’t go anyway, because of Reasons. In 2022 we were able to go and we pre-ordered three tickets, for The Wife, The Daughter, and myself–but then The Wife had ankle surgery in early summer, and that ruled out her attendance. The Festival is a ton of walking, and it’s rustic walking, with the Festival grounds occupying the side of a forested hill. Getting around the Festival for an entire day is tiring for a fully healthy adult, believe me!
We did notice that the Festival is showing some signs of wear around the edges, if that makes sense: buildings in slightly greater disrepair than usual, some decorations in desperate need of re-painting, and some vendor booths and buildings actually empty (though some of those boasted signage that their particular vendors would be joining the Festival later in the year). And the crowds were definitely smaller…but that did make for a bit more enjoyable time. I do hope that none of the above was indicative of a Festival in decline, and that they’ll be back up to full strength moving forward. It’s a quirky and fun way to spend a day, even if it costs quite a bit of money. Most things do, nowadays.
Instead of driving all the way home, we stayed overnight in Palmyra, NY, after having dinner at our favorite fried chicken joint in Webster, NY. One note about staying overnight in Palmyra: that town is literally holy ground for the LDS Church, so you will almost certainly be surrounded by Mormons. This doesn’t bother me particularly, but it might bother some…and who’s to say if I bothered the Mormons! I’m not usually attuned to people staring at me, but it was hard not to notice some of them being somewhat flummoxed by a long-haired bearded guy in overalls and a poofy-sleeved shirt walking through the lobby of the Best Western by the Hill Cumorah site.
Anyway, getting out of town and doing something fun was a delight–and as it happens, this year it felt like a necessary delight. (More on that…someday, perhaps.)
(NOTE: I am aware of the controversy that has erupted in recent weeks surrounding the Sterling Renaissance Festival, the people who own it, and one employee there. My comments section is not the place to litigate that situation, and I will approve no comments referencing it.)