So it's been a couple weekends since I went to the Texas Renaissance Festival in Plantersville, TX, and if you're not familiar with such events, it can be a drag having to return home afterward. Rarely are you able to find such a diverse conglomeration of people, festivities, vendors, and foods, so if you haven't been there, you need to get your arse in gear! Not to mention there's no shortage of kilt vendors at any given fair: I actually worked at a Utilikilts booth at the Norman, OK Medieval Faire earlier this year, and last summer I visited Scarborough Faire in Waxahachie, TX - my first experience at such a venue - where kilts abounded. Granted, most of the kilts you'll see are modeled after the traditional plaid fashion, but there's nothing wrong with that. I'm still looking to get my family's tartan in a traditional wool kilt one I have enough funding (and a reputable source.)
Anyway, TRF is still going on and will continue every weekend through November 28. Check out their website here, and pay special attention to the admission fees and discounts – if you buy a weekend package, it’s much cheaper than paying by the day (not to mention you get to spend more time there), and if you buy tickets at local venues (like select grocers) it’s significantly cheaper as well.
Of course, I was faced with my usual dilemma of being the guy with the camera, and there weren’t many mirrors handy, so most of my photographic documentation did not include me or my kilt, but I managed to hand off the camera to another party member quickly enough to get a couple snapshots. I think we were in the “gardens” at this point, giving me plenty of statues to pose next to. I chose an elephant. Why not?
Like I said, there was no shortage of traditional-style kilts (I think I only saw one or two other Utilikiltarians: one was drawing money from an ATM, otherwise I would’ve stopped him and asked for a photo to prove it. I figured against potentially freaking him out while he grabbed his cash.) Anywho, the bloke in the following photos is a member of an awesome band called Tartanic. They blend some new vibes into some traditional tunes, and they are pretty hardcore when it comes to pleasing their audience. I was told after leaving this show that this fellow removed his shirt to reveal washboard abs, much to the delight of the ladies in the crowd, while the rest of us men-folk were ogling the scantily-clad wenches selling CDs. Talk about smart advertising.
If you want to check them out, you can find their website here. They're a lot of fun, especially in an intimate setting like Renaissance festivals, so I'll repeat it again: if you get a chance to go, GO!
Now, having given credit where it is due, I'd like to point out a simple comparison: note the sporran (the little bag-thingy hanging in front of the piper's kilt.) Note how you don't need one of those in a Utilikilt, given the ample pocket space available. Granted, it does add an element of traditional neatness, but I think it'd get old quick having a bag of junk swinging in front of your... um... bag of junk. All the same, freedom is freedom, and every man has his favorite flavor (speaking of flavors, if you like mead, you MUST go to TRF and sample the mead from one of the permanent vendors. Be prepared to spend $52 on a bottle of ambrosia. Luckily I turned 21 the weekend before this event, so I am able to boast my first purchase of an alcoholic beverage as mead at a Renaissance festival. But don't drink, kids, 'cause that's bad!)
That about wraps things up here. See you folks at the next update! And drop me a comment every once in awhile so I can quit pretending like people actually read this and start believing it ;)