Read before you arrive…
So you have gotten your garb, you have collected some accessories to make yourself stand out, you have even bought a few weapons to wear as ‘deadly’ accessories and you arrive at the faire only to find out that they have a no weapons policy or they have a no replica firearms policy. You are at the gate and now you have to trudge all the way back to the parking lot to drop off a few items and re-position your costume. This could have all been avoided by a simple glance at almost every faires website.
Most Renaissance Festivals allow weapons. A good many have no problem with replica firearms but it is always nice to know that ahead of time. There is no more frustrating problem to encounter as you enter a faire then finding out you have to take part of your garb back to the car. And it is equally as frustrating for the people running the gate that have to say over and over – “no weapons” “No firearms” “I know it is a replica but they are not allowed either.”
When I go to most faires, in garb, I check the weapons policy months ahead of time. I plan accordingly. I make sure to point out all of the various weapons I am wearing when I go in and make sure that they all get peace-tied. Wearing a dagger at my back that almost always gets missed I have gotten in the habit of pointing it out first to make sure that it gets peace-tied as well.
Another word about replica firearms
Do not fight the people at the gate if they say that the replica firearm you carry is not allowed. Simply head back to the car or, if you had read the weapons policy first…
With historically accurate flintlocks being produced nowadays, you may be asked to present it to someone to inspect it before you go in. DON’T bring an actual gun to the faire. I cannot think of a single faire that will allow you to bring an actual gun onto the grounds. Leave it at home, take it to your piratey get-togethers but don’t bring it to the faire.
Read before you pack. Reread it to your friends that think they can get around the weapons policy. If you have a question about something you are carrying and the weapons policy doesn’t cover it, call them and ask or shot them a quick email. Better to know that you will be told ‘no’ before-hand then to arrive and take the ‘walk of shame’ back to your car.