Cruzing Chicagoland: The Bristol Renaissance Faire

Mention that you’re visiting a Renaissance Faire and you’ll be met with a couple of different reactions. One of them is a raised eyebrow and a slightly alarmed look. That usually comes from someone who thinks of a Ren Faire as a weird Star Trek-ish convention for 16th century fanatics. (No offense to the lovely @dearbadkitty, who is a Trekkie.)

The other reaction is a wide-eyed, “I’m so excited for you” expression of happiness. That one comes from someone who has been to a Ren Faire.

I took my trusty sidekick Michelle with me to do a “Cruzing Chicagoland” video shoot at the Bristol Renaissance Faire, which is located on the Wisconsin side of the Wisconsin/Illinois border, just off I-94. The season doesn’t begin until July 9th, but the folks there were kind enough to arrange for one of the performers (who has portrayed the real, historical character Jane the Phoole for twenty years!) to meet us there in full costume (which was amazing in itself), ready to be on camera talking about the Faire for as long as we needed.

And she was wonderful. (Everyone there was!) Michelle and I had a great time learning about the Ren Faire and it only took about five minutes for us to look at each other and start trying to figure out when we could bring our families there, together.

I could go on and on about it, but I think you’ll enjoy watching Jane the Phoole (who, if you close your eyes and listen, sounds very much like Russell Brand!) a little bit more. And before you wonder, yes, I will be assembling a blooper reel from the extra footage.


  • Heather

    I have a few friends that are into Ren Faires. I have never been but maybe I will take Curty this summer- we have a huge one at the end of the summer that my friends always rave about!

  • Dulcie James

    i can completely agree with you about the 2 kinds of people! we just went to opening day at Faire and about half my friends though our garb was awesome and said how they wanted to go… the other half kept asking “but what do you DO there?” and “isn’t that costume hot?” and “what’s the point?”

    sidenote: i met Jane the Phoole when i worked there a few years ago and she is just an amazing lady!