After nine long weeks of bending yourself into a circle, the Rennies of the Ohio Renaissance Festival are packing up for the winter! Even as the blogger I can tell you a lot of your mundane life gets shoved off to the side to make room for the energy and time it takes to work the festival every single day of the run. It takes time to get things back into order, not just on a household level, but on a physical and emotional one as well.

The boothies (owners, managers, and minions at booths) are likely headed off to the next show on the circuit. They started packing things up Sunday evening and may even have been on the road as early as Monday morning. The stage acts and performers are much the same, with many of them spending 9 or 10 months out of the year on the road. I understand a lot of them are heading down for the Texas Ren Faire, so they had a big drive ahead of them. The staff and groundskeepers showed up Monday morning to put things right, ensuring that the ORF festival grounds are ready to close up for the winter. The cast likely had to get up first thing in the morning to head back to their regular jobs, even those of us who stayed late for the dinners and long goodbyes of the best group of companions you could ever come to know.

With everything going on, it can be easy to overlook taking a moment to breathe! This can be difficult since most of us have another job waiting for our full attention. Below is a little list of things we can all do you help us bounce back from such an amazing anniversary season. Don’t feel obligated to take on more than you can manage. But try to focus on a few here and there with the justification that you deserve to feel relaxed. Most of this seems like pretty common sense stuff, but sometimes it helps to have somebody else say it!

1: A Good Nights Sleep

Few things help you feel as well-rested as a good seven to eight hours in bed. If you can find time somewhere to have a lie-in and sleep a bit late, do it. I crashed as soon as I got home last Sunday and I knew a few people who either take the next day off or arrange to take the evening shift if they can. The extra hour or two will do wonders for your restfulness and help you feel more capable to handle the day when you do rise.

Right now planning to sleep, spend some time at our home and do other activities that we have let go during the season.”

Lisa Paxton Reed when asked what she was planning to do after Faire

2: Browse the Photo Hoard

If you are a part of faire or made friends at faire, then you will likely find yourself tagged in a few dozen photos over the course of the next month. You will be amazed at all the wonderful photographers around the festival that captured these memories. Check out the blog galleries for some candid shots, and see what pops up on the ORF Instagram from time to time! There are some seriously cool photos out there and you can add to them by adding the #orf19 or #orfstories to your Instagram pics!

3: Put Your House in Order

No lies, when I come home from faire my stuff tends to get dumped in a pile on the bed in the spare bedroom until the end of the season. But this year I made my wife a promise to get everything neatly in order before the first week was out! It does hurt a little to see all the faire garb being hung up and placed in boxes, but it’s also very cleansing to get the house functional again! The 2nd bedroom doubles as a craft and sewing room, which means I can make new pieces for next year!

4: Pick a ‘Do Nothing’ Day

I know, it feels like an impossible task! Yet I promise you a day well spent in the dedicated process of not trying to accomplish anything goes a long way towards letting your brain relax. When I say ‘do nothing’ it’s important to note that what I actually mean is don’t get involved in anything big. Go out for coffee. Take the dog to the park, have tea and read a few chapters of a book. I’m currently reading The Hidden Lives of Tudor Women: A Social History by Elizabeth Norton.

5: Look for the Next Event

Just because ORF is done for now doesn’t mean there aren’t more events just waiting for you! If you’re craving your next faire oriented hit then take a look at some of these venues. There is a monthly meeting of the QEXV Airship at the Dublin Pub as well as the Steampunk Symposium in March. We have the Ashville Viking Festival in April and the Ohio Viking Festival in June! The ORF grounds will be hosting both Celtic Fest Ohio as well as Midsummer Madness in 2020, so be sure to check back to the website for tickets!

You can certainly hit up other faires if you just miss it in general, go to Celtic Fest and other music festivals in the summer if you miss the location, and consider joining the QEXV Steampunk airship that meets monthly in Dayton if you miss the people.”

Carol Giordano Payne

6: Binge Your Fave Show

We’re all guilty of this from time to time, myself in particular during the cold weather months. I watch the entire extended edition of LoTR at least once a year and I still cry at the end. I have a personal fondness for 1992’s Elizabeth R, with Glenda Jackson playing the famous queen. I know a lot of people love the Tudors, Reign, and GoT. Whatever floats your boat, all of these shows serve as an inspiration and help us get through till the next event.

7: Plan for New Garb

Did you get inspired by all the beautiful wardrobes you saw over the last season? Are you just dying to put together something for the 2020 season? Well now is the time to start planning for it! In “Sourcing Garb” we discussed how garb can take a long time to accumulate. Start a Pinterest board, make some sketches, and start planning what you want to see so you will have a goal in mind.

8: Reach Out

I saw a lot of people out there making new friends this year, and it warms my heart to find more and more folk getting involved with the festival in a variety of ways. Now is the time to reach out to the new people you’ve met. Maybe you joined the IGW: Local 73? Maybe you want to give the cast a shot in 2020. Now is the time to keep those friendships strong and say hi. Find ways to go out for coffee or chat with one another to keep those bonds strong. We all miss one another during the offseason. You aren’t alone.

I do other conversations and travel. But for Ren Fest things I reach out to those I know from festival and make plans for dinner or lunch or something.”

Brian Kollig

9: Make A Playlist

If you don’t have one already, then go and make one! With as many new people as I met this season, I’m sure you’ve been introduced to an entirely new genre of music and song to delight your ears. From Albannach to Band of Pirates, Lady Victoria to Friar Finnegan, there were some phenomenal performers out on the stage. If you can, drop a little cash to go buy their CD’s an help these amazing artists continue their livelihood for many years to come!

10: Black Friday and ORFans

Looking to take advantage of the lovely ORFans tent and all the perks of after-hours events, free drinks, and special parking? Take my advice and save up for the next month! On Black Friday, the Ohio Renaissance Festival typically does a special deal on season passes. Take advantage of this if you can, then ask for an upgrade to the ORFans pass for your preferred winter holiday celebration! Not only will you save some money, but you will meet some of the best people!

How do you recover and bide your time between seasons? What helps you keep that faire spirit all year long? Next week we’ll be recapping the 2019 season with a special video! So stay tuned! We can’t wait to share!