This past weekend was the first live event that we have officially attended since the advent of the plague, and it felt so good to be back. The Bristol Wisconsin Renaissance Faire runs weekends from July 10 - September 6th, and we have maintained a booth there for more than two decades. Mother Nature welcomed her wayward children back to the faire with absolutely perfect weather, sunny with a light breeze in the low seventies. It was the most comfortable opening day that any of us could remember, and that great weather along with 18 months of cabin fever propelled a bustling, happy, and whimsical crowd to the fairgrounds.
The Arms and Armor booth at the Bristol Renaissance Faire 2021
Our great friend James Reilly runs the Bristol booth, and he and Nathan did some painting and minor repairs, and got everything set for eager crowds that had been sadly deprived of swords for lo the past 18 months.
The turnout was really fantastic and it was wonderful to see so many peoples smiling faces.
Arms and Armor salesman extraordinaire Chuck showing a customer how dangerous flails are...
We really enjoy the Bristol show and have had some great fun there over the years. We had to redo the roof back in 2004 and have made other improvements over the years since we first built the booth back in 1990-91.
We have had many folks help us over the years and while the competition is heavy the current crew is neck and neck for most handsome with the dynamic duo of Jesse and Dave, it is probably a tie actually.
Jesse and Dave in Renaissance mode
We hope everyone, that has a chance, can visit us this year. We also want to let all our friends from the past know we remember them and hope their purchases are still serving them well! Huzzzzah!
Nathan Clough, Ph.D. is Vice President of Arms and Armor and a member of the governing board of The Oakeshott Institute. He is a historical martial artist and a former university professor of cultural geography. He has given presentations on historical arms at events including Longpoint and Combatcon, and presented scholarly papers at, among others, The International Congress on Medieval Studies.
Craig Johnson is the Production Manager of Arms and Armor and Secretary of The Oakeshott Institute. He has taught and published on the history of arms, armor and western martial arts for over 30 years. He has lectured at several schools and Universities, WMAW, HEMAC, 4W, and ICMS at Kalamazoo. His experiences include iron smelting, jousting, theatrical combat instruction and choreography, historical research, European martial arts and crafting weapons and armor since 1985