Medieval meets modern-day Aug. 12 as local LGBTs head out for the first-ever Gay Day at the PA Ren Faire.
The event is being organized by a coalition of LGBT groups, with a portion of ticket sales going to local nonprofits. Buses will leave from the William Way LGBT Community Center at 11 a.m. and return at 8:30 p.m., or guests can organize their own transportation to the Faire, which is about a 90-minute drive.
Performance artist and PGN columnist Suzi Nash said that, after profiling an out Faire cast member last year, she suggested the idea for an LGBT event to the Faire’s public-relations director.
“I said, ‘You know, you should have a Gay Day here,’ and she loved the idea,” Nash said. “They obviously have a large gay following and a lot of gay folks in the cast who’d be really into it, so she asked if I’d be willing to help organize and I said absolutely.”
Nash reached out to Stimulus Productions and Philly Gay Calendar to assist in the organizing and promotion process.
The fair, open through October, features dozens of actors — knights, wenches and the celeb-like queen and her court — carrying out a daylong interactive story. Throughout the day, guests can take in song and dance performances, comedy shows, Shakespearian plays — a number of which have adult-themed twists — as well as mud-wrestling challenges, jousting tournaments and a massive human-chess match.
Nash took her 13-year-old nephew and his friend last summer and said she was surprised by the off-color humor in many of the shows.
“It was a lot bawdier than I expected,” she said. “And from what I hear, they’re planning to camp it up even more for Gay Day.”
But myriad options abound for the youngsters, who can try their own hand in a jousting match or at one of the assorted Renaissance games and activities.
The grounds feature dozens of 16th-century-themed dining options — such as the ubiquitous turkey leg on a stick — and a plethora of adult-beverage choices, including a wine-tasting of the collection housed at Mt. Hope Winery, which is on the property. Merchants will be on hand with goods, many handcrafted — from pewter goblets to jewelry to period clothing.
A collection of LGBT nonprofits also will have tables and Nash said there are still spaces open.
Tickets to the event are $20 each — a one-third discount — and $5 from each ticket will be split among William Way, Delaware Valley Legacy Fund, The Attic Youth Center and Team Philadelphia.
The bus is an additional $15 per person and seats are limited.
To purchase event and bus tickets, visit www.eventbrite.com/event/4000517656. Event tickets can also be purchased at www.parenfaire.com with discount code INNERPRINCESS.