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The Navigator

Ren fest is fun, even without Puke N Snot

Published March 16, 2007


I have a soft place in my heart for the Bay Area Renaissance Festival, thanks to writing about the event a few years ago for the Times.

The festival had added a new pair of entertainers when I chronicled its 25th anniversary back in 2004. It inspired the perfect opportunity to craft this delicate gem of journalistic understatement:

It was time to bring out the big guns. That's why this year - well, there's just no other way to say this:

BARF is proud to present Puke N Snot.

These days, of course, I'm far too mature to write something so crass. Such a sentence will never appear in this column. Not going to happen. Mark my words.

Plus, checking out the festival's Web site, I don't see the Puke N Snot sword-fighting duo among this year's entertainers. So that's a break.

The "ren fest," as it's called in the trade, continues on Saturday and Sundays through April 1 next to the Museum of Science and Industry in north Tampa.

But the festival's also open today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It's a special "school day." And that makes it a great opportunity to teach kids about the dangers of majoring in drama.

Anyway, the absence of Puke N Snot is unfortunate, and one can only ponder what's behind it:

Did the guys break up? Did Puke want to go solo? Did Snot want to spend more time with his neglected Snot family?

Regardless, there's still plenty of outdoor fun to be had at the ren fest, from jousting knights to maidens and magicians, all in a replica of a 16th century village.

Plus, for the adults, there's plenty of cold beer to cool the heat. Remember: Always swill responsibly.

This year's bash also boasts human combat chess, an act titled "Bunnies in Peril" and something called "Press-A-Wench," which, presumably, is more innocent than it sounds. Especially on "school day."

But this Saturday and Sunday have a "Shamrocks & Shenanigans" theme, which sounds rather Irish and rather naughty, so there's no time I'd rather attend.

Is there something inherently dorky about renaissance festivals? Yes.

But when you're there, getting into the spirit, enjoying fine entertainment and filling your gut with good food and drink, is that still dorky?

Actually ... yeah.

But it's still a lot of fun. So go get your BARF on.

- - -

For the second half of our doubleheader, here's a reminder about the Celebrity Dancing in Tampa Bay event Thursday at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

Granted, you could accuse me of self-promotion, as I will be among the "celebrities" who are "dancing" that night.

(And, yes, my competitors actually are celebrities and they actually can dance, so I probably should keep my little quote marks to myself.)

But believe me, all I'm getting out of this fundraiser is a bucketful of humiliation - and, curiously, a growing attraction to sequins.

The real winner is one of this area's most necessary organizations, the Spring of Tampa Bay domestic violence shelter and outreach center.

So if you're interested in watching 73-year-old ex-mayor Dick Greco dance circles around my 37-year-old behind, come on by. (Go to for details.)

Remember, you can blow off The Office, because it's another rerun. And just record Grey's Anatomy.

Thursday, it's going down.

And by "it," I mean me, crashing to the stage, like I do regularly in practice.

Though I'm usually able to cushion the fall with something handy. Like my face.

Rick Gershman can be reached at or 226-3431.


. if you go

Bay Area Renaissance Festival

Open today and Saturdays and Sundays through April 1. Museum of Science and Industry, E Fowler Avenue at N 46th Street. For ticket prices and information, go to or call 983-0111.

Celebrity Dancing in Tampa Bay

Thursday at Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. Tickets $37-$57. Go to, or call 229-7827.


[Last modified March 15, 2007, 07:47:39]

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