My excursion to Plantersville
By John Toth
I broke out of my working shell the other day and went to the Renaissance Festival at Plantersville.
Everyone should break away here and there and take a little time off. Being a workaholic, it’s hard, but I made myself. Plus, I promised my daughter, and once you do that, there is no turning back.
This was my first time, and as a member of the press, I got the grand tour from one of the in-character guides who was very nice. But I was in regular clothes – shirt, pants of the current era – so I felt a little out of place.
I was really impressed with everything. These guys know how to treat the press.
We also have an agreement with the festival that we receive passes for ads. That allowed us to give away 16 passes to 4 readers in recent weeks. To all the winners, enjoy the festival, or I hope you already enjoyed it.
Here is why the press gets special treatment. I go there, write about what happened and that gives them even more publicity. And while I am there, they try to make sure that what I write about my experiences are positive, so they show me around and give me stuff.
The bottles of water in the Media Center cooler were the most valuable stuff. It was in the 80s with high humidity on the Sunday we attended.
So, I got bought off a little. The press gets bought off all the time. Those guys who write car reviews get to drive all the new cars for free. A lot of travel writers get their trips comped. Sports writers get in free to all sporting events and dine free as well.News writers are out of luck – or are supposed to be. I wrote straight news for the Houston Chronicle for 12 years, and never would have dreamed of accepting anything. That would have been unethical.
Now that I own The Bulletin, a free paper that is just fun to read, I feel like I can make some deals for event tickets, especially if I run ads and give many of the tickets away to readers.
So, that’s how I landed at the Renaissance Festival with all the craziness around me. But it was fun craziness, with kings and queens, fairies, angels, horses, elephants, beer, turkey legs, rides, shows and free bottles of water.
This is probably the most colorful festival I have ever attended. It’s definitely the biggest. The fact that it’s in the middle of a pine forest is a plus. I often just sat on a bench and enjoyed the pine smell mixed in with the festival smells and sounds – and the smell of elephant dung.
For $5 you can ride an elephant for a few seconds. They just go around in one small circle, but you can say that you rode an elephant. I didn’t but, Stephanie and her friends did. After they got off the ride, they smelled like … never mind.