Ashville, OH – April 2017 – Viking Festival

The small town of Ashville, Ohio is known mostly for having the oldest working traffic light in the world (although it is in a museum, not controlling traffic). They also have what is billed as a Viking Festival, although to be fair it is more of a small renaissance faire, but fun nonetheless. The demonstrations were excellent, as was most of the entertainment.

Even vikings need to look good.

2017 04 30 5 Ashville OH Viking Festival.jpg


Not sure whose hand he has, or where it came from….

2017 04 30 10 Ashville OH Viking Festival.jpg


Blowing her own horn.

2017 04 30 21 Ashville OH Viking Festival.jpg


A hot relationship – on a bed of nails.

2017 04 30 44 Ashville OH Viking Festival.jpg


The archer is ready.

2017 04 30 47 Ashville OH Viking Festival.jpg


A demonstration on how long it took to load and shoot their weapons.

2017 04 30 48 Ashville OH Viking Festival.jpg


Some jousting in the mud.

2017 04 30 72 Ashville OH Viking Festival.jpg


Hand to hand combat.

2017 04 30 83 Ashville OH Viking Festival.jpg


A demonstration of combat technique.

2017 04 30 89 Ashville OH Viking Festival.jpg

Cincinnati – October 2016 – Renaissance Festival

Another sunny mid October day, perfect for going to the Ohio Renaissance Festival in the small town of Harveysburg, near Cincinnati. An annual event that runs every weekend from August through October, it is a 30 acre permanent village with over 100 shops and 12 outdoor stages set in a fictional 16th century English Village.

Costumed performers on stage and through the streets provide continuous entertainment. The first show we saw was a juggler who not only juggled three burning torches, but managed to balance a sword, using the pointed end, on a ball.

2016 10 09 3 Cincinnati Ohio Renaissance Festival.jpg


After a brief stop with a comedy routine set on a large ship that was hard to follow because we were too far back, we settled into a covered area to see a sword swallower who also ate flames. I have no idea how someone gets started with this as a talent, but he was very good, and his big finish with a sword fully down him was stunning.

2016 10 09 43 Cincinnati Ohio Renaissance Festival.jpg


Everyone, including the sword swallower, took a break as the the performing cast including the Queen and her entourage along with representatives from each festival shop make a parade past us.

2016 10 09 56 Cincinnati Ohio Renaissance Festival.jpg


2016 10 09 66 Cincinnati Ohio Renaissance Festival.jpg


At times it is difficult to tell who is in the show and the spectators as many people came in costume.

2016 10 09 72 Cincinnati Ohio Renaissance Festival.jpg


2016 10 09 74 Cincinnati Ohio Renaissance Festival.jpg


2016 10 09 26 Cincinnati Ohio Renaissance Festival.jpg


Our next show of the day was in the Muditorium, and was another comedy bit, this time set on a stage next to a mud pit.

2016 10 09 114 Cincinnati Ohio Renaissance Festival.jpg


Finally we watched Dirk and Guido, who had fake sword fights, as well as tossing them back and forth to each other. They ended with a large audience participation song, complete with plenty of innuendos.

2016 10 09 118 Cincinnati Ohio Renaissance Festival.jpg


We decided the crowd was getting too cumbersome to really enjoy the events, and we had seen the entire grounds, and many of the shows, so we called it a day, arriving in the parking lot amazed to see the sea of cars. Even with the crowds the Ohio Renaissance Festival is a highly recommended event to check out.

2016 10 09 127 Cincinnati Ohio Renaissance Festival.jpg

Ashville & Akron, Ohio – April 2016 – A Weekend of Weirdness

While Asheville and Akron Ohio are about 100 miles apart for one weekend they share something in common, a collection of weird people with weird, but very cool, talents.

2016 04 30 Ashville Ohio Viking Festival 1.jpg

Ashville was first on a Saturday for the annual Viking Festival. While we didn’t see many Vikings, and no Viking ships since there didn’t appear to be any water anywhere, we did observe a group that clearly spend time at renaissance festivals. In addition to their costumes most had exhibits, and an in depth knowledge, such as knife making, as well as some fire eaters and jousters.

2016 04 30 Ashville Ohio Viking Festival 52.jpg

On Sunday we were in Akron for the Oddmall, an eclectic collection of crafts. Many towns have hacked Portland’s (or Austin’s) motto – keep (fill in your city here) weird, but the group there did their best to Keep Akron Weird.

2016 05 01 Akron Oddmall 7.jpg