This weekend my family and I went to the Texas Ren Fest. This is one of my favorite times of year. We almost always have the same process:
Husband wakes up and gets super excited. He also usually makes coffee or goes for a run to temper that excitement.
The girls and I wake up, just as excited, and start planning our day.
Husband gets home, we all breakfast, then we get started on our outfits for the day.
I decide between "leggings and breastfeeding tunic pirate" costume and "leggings and breastfeeding tunic fairy" costume. It depends on which leggings are clean and what power accessories I'm feeling.
I get the girls into costumes that include tie dye, fairy wings, old skirts, leggings, maybe a jacket, backup shirts and underwear and diapers.
Husband continues costume planning, but I interrupt to get diaper bag packing help.
I get things into the car, clean up from breakfast, and we convene to get the wagon loaded and finishing touches on husband's costume. (Seriously - he is an amazing costumer and I love giving him this time.)
WE GET ON THE ROAD TO RENAISSANCE HEAVEN!
This year, our 9th step, typically having a party and loving every minute of the sweaty fun to be had at Ren Fest, looked a little different. Our favorite spots were still there, but they seemed a little empty. There were fewer pirates at the singalong. Some of my favorite shops that are typically filled with items handcrafted from wood, glass, and clay were bare. Wandering characters were a little more stationary and less immersive. People were wearing masks and vendors were armed with the anachronistic necessities of events during a pandemic: hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, and Lysol spray. We looked with our eyes, not our hands (a lesson we all try to teach our kids in the grocery but forget when we see shiny things at festivals).
I can't lie - at first I was a little disappointed. I felt like seeing fewer fairies, pirates, vendors, food sellers, even patrons, meant that it wasn't "my" Ren Fest. I felt a little let down. I worried that I was disappointing my kids and my bedecked husband. And part of me was a little bit like a toddler who wants more ice cream.
But then I tasted some of my favorite foods, heard some of the songs that have been in my life since high school, and cheered for the same fire-whip cracking performers. I realized that as long as she gets her annual pickle and Scottish drumming (see below), my eldest daughter has the time of her life. We got to experience some new things and, overall, just getting to go felt so good.
Why am I telling you all of this? What's the point here?
The point is, sometimes we have to scale things according to what we CAN do, not what we WANT to do. I know that the TX Ren Fest organizers and sponsors didn't go into this year planning to modify the grounds to accommodate social distancing. I doubt that the vision meetings last year were banked on a reduction in income of sponsors, travel requirements for entertainers, and limited ticket sales. As my mom would say, they did the "best they can with what they have" and it was still a great experience.Next year, they may be faced with the ever difficult challenge of scaling this year up to meet past years production value, and even more to meet demand. We just don't know... luckily they have a team of professionals in their corner to make a girl like me feel happy just to get to visit.
Are you in a position of "scaling" like Ren Fest was? Do you need to scale back this year or do you suddenly have demand that you can't figure out how to meet? You have a professional in your corner, too! Click here to book a consultation with me so we can get you scaling for success!