#41 Pirate Festival - Kingdom City, MO - June 11, 2011
Avast Ye Matey!
Just when I thought I was on the verge of running out of strange and weird new places, Kingdom City's Pirate Festival delivered. Meet the Wiccan Wanderer and his crow (oddly not a parrot) puppet friend. I could have taken a photo with plenty of people at this festival, but my friend here really summed it up. An open mind and a sense of humor were required.
I'm still stumped by this. For the life of me I can't figure out why the Pirates had a castle. For the record, I think it is a left over prop from the renaissance festival and just looks really cool at the entrance. Either way, it was easy to see that strangeness lurked just beyond the gates.
Welcome to "Shoot the Pirate". Yes, there is a pirate skeleton back there. Yes, there are random pots and pans hanging in obstruction of said pirate. And yes, I shot a paintball gun at said pots, pans and bony skeleton pirate. Why? Who knows, but it is better to stop asking that question in these parts.
Food offerings were slim at this festival. Apparently pirates really did sustain themselves on rum. In fact, the only things available were hamburgers and turkey legs. It really was a no-brainer to go for the turkey leg. Pre-made and held in foil on the grill (A festive fest no-no), but still tasted great. For my food purist loyal reader, the food has been light as of late but will be remedied.
With a full stomach, I ventured out to find larpers. Why larpers at a pirate festival? Again, it is better not to ask why, but instead to let it go. Here I am being trained by the best "stick jockey" this side of the kingdom. The larpers were very open to explaining things and were having a great time. To each their own, and maybe I'll meet him again down the road with some new moves. For more information on LARPing, see below.
Festive Trinket of the Week: I did purchase my own larping sword. Behold my very own Excalibur, or at least that's the name until a new one is earned in battle. Now you may ask, what magical materials were used to construct my new lance of justice? (That wasn't your first question?) Well its the perfect meeting of pvc pipe and swim noodle. You can even get your own weapon of vengeance here.
Videos of the Week: This festival could not be contained by one video. On the left, behold the speed, skill and power of LARPing in its glory. These guys are good, but I'm confident with a little practice I can give them a run for the money. On the Right: Meet Molotov the Gypsy. The man puts on a good show and something you don't see everyday.
Where to start with LARPing? First, it stands for Live Action Role Play. Here is a brief overview of the subject. It seems to me that the larpers I met knew of the preconceptions some people have about them and either don't care or revel in it. There is a freedom in doing what you enjoy without giving a concern about what others think. Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot out there for more information on the topic and maybe it just needs to be seen live to be understood. If you are ready to get into larping in the St. Louis area, check out Amtgard Order of the Black Flame. If you still want to kick some virtual arse, then get some weapons here. Sadly, even fantasy worlds have rules to follow but there is also a guide for newbies. There are a couple movies on the subject I have enjoyed, Role Models for a comedy and Darkon for an in-depth look into the topic.
Yet, this was a Pirate Festival. I have by and large resisted the temptation to yo ho, avast or use any Arrr jokes. If that is what you were hoping for then you can start with this Pirate term dictionary (apparently it should be spelled pyrate). Once you have learned some new pirate terms, then you can use them on September 19th for International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Or, maybe you were expecting pirate jokes. Then this is the site for you. If you have children, or are a kid at heart, then here is a fun little pirate chantey (We here at FFF likes anything with puppets). Yet for some reason animatronics are kind of creepy, especially the old Disney ones. Here is a very confusing version of an ol' song that I couldn't stop watching. I could go on for hours, but Rob Ossian has already done it in a much better manner than I could. Do yourself a favor and check out his compilation of all things pirate. Maybe your inner nerd just wants the pirate facts. Maybe you want to actually be a pirate now, then get your gear here.
When I woke up in the morning, I expected some fake eye patches and some unnecessary words featuring the letter "R". I got so much more. My apologies to my loyal reader as this festival was not a true food festival. Yet this site is dedicated to finding the strange and the different as well, and we succeeded to that point. I've heard the same reactions repeatedly when discussing my day, and I still don't understand why people look down on people having fun and not harming anyone. It was a fun day, letting go of all inhibitions and sharing laughs in the middle of nowhere.
Just goes to show you, an open mind is a terrible thing to waste. Why? Because it's fun, nothing more nothing less.