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.

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

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Blowing her own horn.

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A hot relationship – on a bed of nails.

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The archer is ready.

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

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Some jousting in the mud.

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Hand to hand combat.

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A demonstration of combat technique.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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