Well, I got to go (even got skirts-sorry to anyone I wasn't able to reply to, my computer broke, my nephew went to the hospital, and my dog died. Well, not the dog, but it was a busy week...
I just wanted to mention a few things about the new faire grounds.. partially because i'm wondering if what I experienced has become the norm for the faire in the 10 years I haven't attended, or if it was just new location confusion.
First off LOVE the new grounds. Trees! and trees! Woohoo! lol. The one thing I do clearly remember about Devore was the piercing miserable heat. It was hot in Irwindale but you could run from shade to shade, until you hit the joust area.
I don't have to say sound of fury and the merry wives were great, when are they not? But they were... and I really enjoyed them. I also thought the joust was really well put together, love the full contact, miss the special effects, and ABSOLUTELY love that they are using rescue horses for their program. I also saw a lot of friendly interaction with the guild who had the mardi gras theme. Kudos to them for being the people we talked to the most during our visit. Also kudos to the washing well women. I was prepared to not really like them because the setup is so different than up north, but they were very charming and fun. I also noticed the one lady (had braids like pippi longstocking, but I didn't catch her name...) did a lot of interaction in the grounds (outside her show) with the children especially, which is always fun to see. Oh, and the sand people... first time seeing them, how neat!
Now my complaints (they're very few, you don't have to skip this part...)
I brought along a girl who had never been to faire and warned her that she may encounter some good natured heckling, and definetely a lot of interaction with strangers, and to take it in stride. Strangely enough I was proven a liar as almost no one spoke to her the entire day. She's cute too, so I don't get it. Was it just a bad day or is there a reason there's less actor/audience interaction? I have to say I was more disappointed by that then the 2 hour wait in line because everyone got off the same freeway ramp.
Oh but wait. She did get spoken to once. Her and her fiance were pushed through and told "welcome to faire, now get out of my way." Needless to say I was absolutely floored, and then even more so when he walked into a booth! He works there?! I believe the place was called swords and roses (something to that nature) and he was thin with a goatee, I think wearing black leather. If you know him, it might not be amiss to mention that i had to sit and talk fast for 20 minutes to even keep them at the faire. It was really a horrible first interaction for them, and had we not immediately gone to sound and fury they probably would've written the faire off as a dud.
Oh wait, I do have one more praise. I whined about all the dirt, thinking rocks should be put down to cut down the dust (i'm about as pale as they come, but I was brown by the time I left *grin*), until I noticed all the people in wheelchairs. More than i've noticed at other faires (ones with the rocks hehe), and after thinking... of course, a wheelchair won't go over rocks. I also noticed the police officers rushing to help a man in a chaIr who was having a problem. So kudos to the faire people for making it accesible (and for the easily accesible areas and space to allow for the extra girth of a chair or scooter) and kudos to the police who were honestly there to help and be friendly.
Oh! And there was a guy hiding by the joust taking pictures of girls breasts. Again kudos to the police officers who responded to my complaint, checked the pictures and then (hopefully) ejected him from the faire. I didn't see him again, but even if they didn't do anything about the situation they were very sweet and calmed me down enough I didn't smash my roast beef sandwich in his face ;)
All in all, I had a great time. I'm betting the problems I saw were just moving pains and I look forward to giving it another try next year. Hopefully as an official wench! :)