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John-Paul's Ranking Profile:

1=Don't Care, 2=Not Really Important, 3=Somewhat Important, 4=Very Important

Location: 1 Remote faires can be a pain in the arse but as long as I can find them without too much trouble I don't mind the long drives. The way I see it, it could be three hours to get to a huge festival and still not be worth it. I have yet to drive to a remote event that I didn't think was worth a few hours in the car (though a few have come close).
Ambiance: 4 This is very important to me. Buildings and power lines turn me off, and corporate logos should never be seen at a renaissance festival. If you gotta be sponsored, at least theme things! Go away, Pepsi. I'm trying to watch the joust.
Food/Drink: 2 I'm not too picky here. Basically, if there are turkey legs and ice tea or lemonade, it's a festival. I don't even mind corn dogs (since I like them) as long as they try to theme them somehow with a cute name. Access to liquids, though, is crucial. Alcohol is a big plus since I enjoy walking around with a mug of wine from time to time. If the only drink stands are soda I'd have a problem with it since cola on a hot day is not the best thing for someone in 6 layers of clothing.
Merchants: 2 I'm not a big shopper. I don't need fifteen different belt shops to make a choice. As long as there is one merchant with what I am looking for, I am happy. A handful of quality merchants is better, to me, than a hundred merchants with many duplicate items.
Entertainment: 4 When I go to play, I want to be entertained. If I go to participate, this is not as important since I'm going to be too busy to see the shows anyway. People don't pay to shop—they pay to be entertained.
Streetmosphere: 4 Make me part of the show or I'm not happy I just spent $12 to walk around a mediaeval shopping mall. An event with no roaming characters just seems...
After Hours: 3 I wouldn't go to an event strictly to party, but knowing that such activities do happen might encourage me to make a weekend out of something that I would normally day trip. I find that the events I like the best are the ones that I can get most involved with and hang out with the most people (even if, in general, I don't like hanging out with people).

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AtTheFaire.com Community Members as of 3/12/16 :
Festivals: Merchants: Performers: Everything Else:
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  2. Iowa Ren Festival (IA)
  3. Iowa-Minnesota Pirate Fest (IA)
  4. Greater Quad Cities Ren Faire (IL)
  5. Midlands Pirate Festival (NE)
  6. Nebraska Ren Faire (NE)
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  1. danzamystique.com
  2. gypsycomedyshow.com
  3. mydragonstories
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  8. wenchville.com
  1. anothercrappypodcast.com
  2. atthefaire.com
  3. crocolyle.atthefaire.com
  4. perin.atthefaire.com
  5. renbanner.net
  6. renreporter.com
  7. sirclisto.com

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Permanent festivals in our area: Kansas City Renaissance Festival, Bristol Renaissance Faire, Des Moines Renaissance Faire and Minnesota Renaissance Festival.
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