|Ren Fest participants stroll the streets of Albright|
Every November on the outskirts of Hammond, men, women and children dust off their swords and corsets and step back in time to the village of Albright. They become the centerpiece of the Louisiana Renaissance Festival, affectionately known as Ren Fest, and they open their doors wide to the public.
|Our wagon awaits...|
Our chauffeur dropped us at the castle gates, and the dust stirred beneath us as we made our way along the dirt road. The village has grown over its 12 years, and many permanent houses and shops now create a surprisingly real town settled around a tranquil lake. I glanced in a costume rental shop, where tourists were trading their street clothes for period clothing. While costumes and fake accents are optional in Albright, many of the visitors seem to embrace the role playing.
|A village shop|
Next up, we forewent the giant turkey legs in favor of Mediterranean food and made a picnic under some pine trees by the lake. We caught a portion of a belly dancing show during lunch before trying out some hoola-hoops and juggling stix.
|Queen Elizabeth I knights Charles|
Our journey back in time ended on that note, and we eased ourselves back into reality by stopping for coffee in downtown Hammond. By the time we hit the interstate, both kids had passed out in the back seat and amazingly were out for the night.