Just got back from the Four Winds Renaissance Faire
up by Tyler, Texas. I must admit it wasn't what I expected.
Going from pictures and a few people I expected a desolate faire out in the middle of a cow field somewhere. I was pleasantly surprised. The faire began thirteen years ago. And it is still a fairly small site considering the duration. However, it is bigger than the original Excalibur Fantasy Faire
site. Much bigger, in fact. And I was surprised to find that despite its size, the land was well used.
Last year, Andrew and I were talking about the "perfect" faire. We thought a smart faire site would do what Excalibur did. Start with a small hexagonal piece of land and add new hexagonal pieces each time you start packing the original pieces.
Four Winds forced me to re-think that idea. The majority of their shops line one side of the faire. On the other is a lot of open space for dancing, watching jousts, archery, smithying, and just lounging. You see, I'm still a big fan of small faires. I like the fact that with small faires, you can see all there is to see and only Then, will you really experience the faire.
Four Winds is small, but not too small like the old Excalibur where some patrons might wonder if they're getting their money's worth. Here, you have a beautiful site with with well placed stages for belly dancers with loud drums that don't drown out the rest of the shows. They have sharp looking pirate stage, and the acoustics at the tavern and in the pavillion are just... well, very admirable. I've been bummed with a lot of faires because they don't have good music stages. This is the first site I've seen that has Several!
Now the one downside was some of the buildings. I'm a little biased towards buildings that look like they are out of the Renaissance. Okay, in this case, I'd like to see some that looked like they were out of Musketeer France (their theme). But there are several that do a brilliant job at keeping the theme.
Overall, I must say I loved playing here. This was the first time in a long time that I've been to a faire, the day came to a close, and I was quite ready to leave. I can't wait to go back there in three weeks.
April 21-22, 2007 Four Winds Renaissance Faire
Troup, TX (South of Tyler)
Phone: (903) 839-5271
Four shows daily
Labels: performances, renaissance_festivals