Good Times at Medieval Times

On Saturday, I headed up to Medieval Times to help celebrate a birthday for my boss, Ann. I’m still a bit camera shy around the Sears folks, and so I haven’t been really trying to take photographs of them – but snapped a few photos of the event itself.

It’s a funny thing: I used to drive up to Barrington all the time, for the first job I landed out of grad school. For a solid two years, I’d take the Roselle Road exit, and drove by this castle wondering what the inside was like… and today, finally, I got to find out.

The main entryway was pretty lavishly decked out in sheilds and crests. Folks gathered in this area before getting taken to their seats, and mostly just ordered booze and walked around.

There was merchandising everywhere. People were selling light-up swords, little flags, you name it – just tons of stuff, and almost all of it for sale. It was like walking into an enormous gift shop that happened to have a small bar attached to it.

Here was the main announcer guy, who narrated a lot of the evening’s events. He really gave Michael Buffer a run for his money.

Though we had a decent-sized party, the way the seats are arranged… everyone kind of sits in the same row, facing the same direction. So it made conversation a little difficult at times.

I was seated near Thorne and his girlfriend Lindsay, and on my right were two of Ann’s friends: Sara and Tim. Throughout the evening, I got to joke around and chat with them between jousting sessions.

Tim, in particular, was always quick to throw out some one-liners. On seeing the knights for the first time (many of whom had long hair), he said: None of these guys have slept alone in the last ten years.

The knights were all identified by color, and not name. So it would be the “Green Knight” or the “Blue Knight.” There was one who went by the “Red and White Knight,” but the announcer always said the name quickly… and it always sounded to me like “The Regular Knight.”

The Blue Knight. Each section of the area was set in a different color, and was “represented” by a particular knight. Our guy, Mr. Blue here, was always a ton of smiles and (as Tim noted) incredibly, preternaturally accurate in his throwing of flowers to audience members.

Here, Blue is giving a special ribbon to a select audience member. That, or he’s marking someone for death… I couldn’t quite figure it out.

The Blue guy definitely had energy and charisma. And I say this knowing that I’m a little biased, since I was sitting in the Blue section and he and I both come from the same hometown.

There were a lot of fighting sequences towards the end. During the jousting, they lowered some netting… and so it made it a little tough to grab photos.

Post-event, wandering around the area a bit. 25% off not just some, but ALL swords for Dad!

Almost as good as the Buy 1 Get 1 Free Samuri Sword sign I saw, in Chinatown. almost.

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