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Typical of the period The Renaissance was so called for the resurgence in the interest in sciences, rapid development of art and increase in the expolration of the world. Gone were the bloody Crusades, as butchering the homegrown heritics proved safer and more profitable. During that period, enlightened persons like Hobbes observed that "human life is solitary, brutish, nasty and short".
Mud pies, anyone?

In Europe, the most obvious aspects of the period continued to be mortality from disease, starvation and numerous unnatural causes. Plainly put, a typical representative of the period was poor and ignorant, smelled bad and was likely to die early and quite possibly violently. Fortunately, developments in scientific research and liberalization of economic activity paved the way for gradual improvements, admittidely punctuated by frequent backslides into total warfare.

A sword and a lollipop

Thanks to Dumas, Merrimee and the innumerable pseudo-historic movies, we also have a rosier picture of the Renaissance life. That comforting view is comprised mostly of young well-dressed men with rapiers and young women with low-cut dresses. Although quite removed from reality, that lovely view is the Minnesota Festival. That great gathering is an enterprise of Mid-America Festivals, which supplies most of the negative aspects of the experience. The drama and the glory of the fest are the product of the hundreds of under-appreciated actors and reenactors.

Windows with shutters

 

Welcome sign

It starts in mid-August ( hot and sticky -- especially for performers in heavy authentic clothing; tiny cups of warm soda sell briskly.) Finding the fest is simple -- just follow Hwy. 169 south from Minneapolis. You will see the signs warning of temporal anomalies after about 40 minutes of driving. Turn at the sign without fail (should you miss it you might go back in time even further and end up in the Dark Ages). An entire city perched atop a hill awaits you and its residents welcome fresh easy marks like you.

Locals are watching you

Checking you out

The happenings at the Fest run from dark justice to conjugal bliss and every gradation in-between. Even the timeline becomes confused and folds onto itself: Vikings and Musketeers might rub shoulders, though centuries separated them in the original history. Come see for yourself.

A noose two redheads
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