After the run ends and the lanes are emptied of guests, we tend to think of things being over until summer comes again. The truth is faire never stops. Even as we all get prepped to settle in for a long winter, ORF is pushing forward to bring even bigger changes to the grounds for the 2020 season. ORF’s people are working on everything from new acts to the stages themselves. Empty booths will be filled by next season and we’re all excited to see what the 31st run will bring.

But in the meantime, many of us are finding ways to keep ourselves occupied as cold weather sets in and we await our next event. From craft projects to holiday events, it’s easy to find familiar faces and see all the little ways we share the energy of faire with one another.

Many are learning new skills and expanding crafts

Many projects are undertaken with the goal of making one’s garb more to their liking. Everything from full outfits to that final piece to perfect it. Rennies build garb over a period of years, adding a little here and there with every faire they visit and every season they survive.

Billy Crafton’s latest leather project. Photos credit Billy Crafton

For the Holidays, I’m making leather gifts for friends and family. I’m trying to develop some leather crafting skills as I’m going to make a Musketeer Cape out of leather. A friend of mine, helped me create the pattern and a lot of my leatherwork during faire. The goal is to get good enough to make pieces for a Steampunk outfit as well as my normal outfit next fall.”

Billy Crafton
Tara Michelle’s latest project. Image credit Tara Michelle

I’m getting ready to make a few cosplays for the 2020 cosplay season, started with this Eliza Schuyler (Hamilton) cosplay, which was also my first sewing project!”

Tara Michelle

The ORFans are especially dedicated to their wardrobe. Every time you walk past their lounge it’s like seeing a mini fashion show! If you see an outfit you like, ask them where they got it. Most will be thrilled to recount how long it took to accumulate.

Kassia Salter is making flannel shirts. Photo credit Kassia Salter
Eric is making these perfect wooden dachshund dog dish holders! Photo credit Eric Blankenship

Many are performing at other venues

The various cast members can often be found keeping others entertained all year round. People are often surprised to discover the passion for acting and entertainment that follows members of cast. ORF has everything from first time performers to seasoned talent, and they continually inspire one another to be the best they can be on stage and off.

Find Micheal Plaugher playing Anselmo at the Dayton Playhouse. Image credit Steven Kohus

Michael Plaugher, also known as Johnathan Standish on the ORF cast, will be playing Anselmo from Man of La Mancha (inspired by Miguel de Cervante’s Don Quixote) at the Dayton Playhouse.

Lisa Nelsen Woods will be playing in parades and concerts! Image credit Lisa Nelsen Woods

Lisa, also known as the Queen’s royal jester Tettles, will be playing flute in the Capital Pride Band of Columbus. They have two concerts coming up next year and be found marching in the Columbus Pride Parade.

Upcoming event: Krampus walk & Merry Krampus

We’ve mentioned before that there are many peripheral events during the offseason. These are great places to absorb some of that sweet faire energy so you can recharge before the next season begins. I’ll be present at many of these events, and I’m always happy to meet with people to see how they’re enjoying themselves!

The International Wenches Guild. Photo credit Seth White

The International Wenches Guild Local 73 will be ‘invading’ the Krampus Walk in Columbus on Dec 1st! The Krampus has gained in popularity over the last few years, bringing haunted back into the holiday season. Following this walk, you can find me at the Merry Krampus Flea Market enjoying their event with friends! Feel free to dress up for this meetup and find some unique gifts for your family!

Upcoming event: Greet the Sun

On Dec 22nd, I’ll be dropping in to the ORF grounds to celebrate the Winter Solstice with a Greet the Sun Event. Anybody who would like to join in is welcome to come and experience this spiritual moment when the cold night abides to the warmth of the sun. It’s a small potluck event, and we’d love it if people could come by with guitars and the like to keep us entertained as we wait for the sun to rise.

Get Ready for Black Friday Deals!

Already hungry for next year’s turkey legs? ORF will be having special Black Friday deals ready for you! Get discount tickets on Celtic Fest, Ohio Renaissance Festival 2020 Season Passes, and ORFans Memberships for you and your family!

Visit the ticketing site during Black Friday to score deals and discounts!

As you can see, there isn’t so much an offseason as there is a season where we aren’t on the grounds! There is so much friendship and family in our community that it’s impossible to stay away from each for long. The 30th anniversary was a truly culminating event, and I think a lot of the energy from that is still lingering, reminding us of the community that has been built here over decades of hard work and effort. The faire family is closer than ever and I’m happy to once again be a part of it!

Feature image: Johannes Vermeer – The lacemaker (c.1669-1671)