We are the Privateer Dragons of the Caribbean, a friendly duo known as Laktos the Intolerable (Steve R. Romano) and Inga Cuckoo (Heidi Bosch Romano).
Each year, we enjoy spending a few of what we consider to be our best week-ends meeting old friends and making new ones at local pirate festivals and renaissance faires. Because most people are unaware of the abundance of festivals and faires in the US and abroad, we want to help you discover the simple pleasures that are only found in these magical kingdoms of make-believe that are enhanced by the natural beauty of the outdoors.
People always ask us what makes these festivals so enjoyable that we want to go back again and again. The answer is that we both love putting smiles on other people's faces. Laktos loves to share tales, make people laugh, share a round or two with his new acquaintances and old friends. Inga loves answering questions about her props, for instance: "What's that hand for?" Her typical answer: "Everybody can use an extra hand."
Attending these festivals, we are reminded of what's really important in life: sharing time with others. It warms our hearts each time another person was made a little happier by an experience they shared with us. Most people are so wrapped up in daily chores that they seldom talk, look at, notice or smile at another person during the day. Not so at these festivals. At them, everyone greets each other, interacts and always smiles. That's something so simple yet so fulfilling. Once people experience this, they simply can't get enough and usually start looking for and attending other festivals close to home.
Once bitten by the festival bug, many want to know how to make their own costume or to create their own festival persona. "Faire veterans" get a real kick out of giving advice to "faire virgins" on where to find costumes at bargain prices, where to find special fabrics or old world musical instruments, how to make your own costume and/or medieval-style weapons, or how to accessorize when you're on a tight budget.
People who get in the spirit usually end up creating their own character for "faire." Laktos is particularly talented at coming up with a very clever "faire name" for those who enjoy his witty and often time silly names which he shares at the blink of an eye. Of course, you may end up having to do some explaining to your family why this new name of yours is just a term of affection, and how much you really, really like it and don't need to change it (you have to have a good sense of humor to accept those types of names).
Going to these festivals can be fun for the very outgoing person, the type who enjoys interacting with others, who's not afraid to act silly, especially if it's for a good cause: a belly-laugh or two. And fun-loving people like us always carry their own sack of props, just in case the moment calls out for a good pun or play on words.
It's also a treat for people-watchers, nature-lovers, and those who just want to get away from all things "city," returning to simpler pleasures, experiencing an entertaining day or two in beautiful surroundings, listening to the sounds of laughter and music, meeting nice people, sharing stories, food and drink with others.
Bringing food and drinks to share with our friends before or after a day at the festival is an added bonus, especially when camping nearby. Those times can end up being as fun as the festivals themselves.
A tradition for many renaissance faire enthusiasts is giving friends and acquaintances hand-made gifts called "faire favors." In Laktos' case, he enjoys giving toys to children and entertaining their parents with his silly banter and funny props.
After attending festivals year after year, it's become a family reunion of sorts. We love catching up with our faire-going friends and making new acquaintances each season.
If you've never been, we hope you go and have a good time. See you at faire!