Look at the dude’s pushing the merry-go-round
One thing that you will see at almost every large Ren Faire is the people-powered amusements. You are aren’t going to find any of those pretentious electric or gas powered merry-go-rounds that you see at the county fair. At the Renaissance Festival you are going to see dudes in garb pushing children and adults alike around and around on a merry-go-round. Or you might get treated to the a ride where you get to power it yourself with a couple of friends. Let’s look at a few.
The Hurlinator – You will see the picture to the right. The Hurlinator is perchance the best named and most awesome of the rides at the Tennessee Renaissance Festival. You have a chair to yourself but you must work together to get the contraption going. You pull the arms in front of you then you begin to work together with the other s on the ride to get the Hurlinator moving as fast as possible. Again, you aren’t finding any power to get you going except for the power in your own body.
The Pirate Ships – At the Carolina Renaissance Festival they have giant swings that are shaped like pirate ships. You step onto the ride and dudes in garb give the whole boat a swing. Each time you come back to their perch, they grab the back of the boat and they swing the ship harder. They get the ship going as high and as fast as you want. Once you achieve that goal of the optimum swinging speed you just sit back and enjoy the ride. Another great amusement without all those pesky generators and loud motors – green energy in the form of a guy and pirate ship swing.
The Crow’s Nest – At the Georgia Renaissance Festival is not only fun to ride, it is great to watch as well. Here is the basic concept: there is a pole in the center of the box where the patrons sit, there are ropes from the box that go to the top of the pole, two dudes in garb turn the box until the rope is wrapped around the pole. They then get out of the way and let gravity and centripetal force spin the box around as quickly as it can. The tighter they wrap the cord, the faster the box spins – the more fun is had by the people riding the ride. Great, simple, ride. Amazingly fun and a blast to watch as your friends get dizzier and dizzier.
Next faire you go to make sure you take in some of the rides. The people running them are always funny, nice and they will make the ride as adventuresome or as laid back as it needs to be. If you have little kids they will give them a ride that is as gentle as being rocked to sleep. Man-Powered rides, the future of the amusement industry … probably not – but they are lots of fun at the Ren Faire.