Irwindale Renaissance Fair ~ 2018
The demeanor seemed, to me, different this year. I encountered fewer street performers, and there appeared to be less interaction between visitors and "the townfolke." There was not so much spontaneous silliness as I've seen in previous years. Guild activity near the front gate was fairly consistent with previous years, but less so deeper into the shire. I had the impression that there were fewer merchants. Morning attendance appeared down, though the faire filled out more in the afternoon. The closing drum circle had half or a third the number of dancers that I'm accustomed to seeing.
I don't know if these observations are a matter of circumstance or a change in direction of the faire. I hope the former, but I suspect otherwise. My feeling is that recent years have brought a change in leadership, with priorities leaning toward profit and actor restraints in the name of "political correctness." There was a sort of sterility to my experience this year.
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