Near the town of Waxahachie in the county of Ellis south of the town of Dallas a 16th Century English Village comes alive every Spring, celebrating a Renaissance Festival called Scarborough Faire. Covering an area which seems as large as Six Flags (but with free parking) with over 200 Artisans and Crafts Stores, with Shows in 22 different venues, with Entertainment ranging from a Mud Pit Theatre in the Ground to Singing Executioners (very Texas appropriate) to Jousting (both men's and women's) to dozens of Purveyors of various Food and Drink items, from Smoothies to Beer, from Spinach Pie to Jalapeno Poppers from Fried Peasant Bread to Baklava with blessedly very little, if any, authentic English food.

Throughout the Village graduates of the Scarborough Academy of Performing Arts, along with all the costumed Visitors, give the Village a very authentic look and sound.

Large numbers of Wenches in skimpy costumes barely containing heaving bosoms. Ladies in stifling finery braving the heat. Men in tights and pantaloons and armor. And a few Trolls and 21st Century Gawkers wandering about. Upon entry $19.99 seems an expensive fare, but then the scope of Scarborough Faire reveals itself and the entry fee begins to seem a bargain...

a group of 'ladies' sashaying through the daily parade through the Scarborough Village...

APRIL 4 - MAY 25, 2015
Click for Directions and a Scarborough Faire Location Map

Click to View Video of a Visit to Scarborough Faire

Note: Several Scarborough Faire participants have emailed with interesting comments such as "you have quite a few incorrect references". However, none of the anguished missives seem able to elaborate many of these supposed incorrect references. So, after reading the various comments the only change to the original text has been that a character misnamed Stretch has now been correctly named Scratch. However, the original version of this Eyes on Texas look at Scarborough Faire has been altered to add some of the comments from Scarboroughites. Those comments are in the same color as the text you are now reading. Retorts to the comments follow in brown text.

Note #2: We received many emails verbalizing enjoying reading the additional input of those with opinions about the following photos and comments. You can now read many of the emails and newsgroup postings and additional comments.

Note #3: A fresh complaint from a new email---" I do HATE that you refer to it as's very demeaning sounding. The term Scarby is the correct nickname for Scarborough Faire. To continue to call it Scarbo shows a lack of consideration. "

Scarborough Faire attracts many Wenches displaying their ample wares...

click a thumbnail to view a photo

Scarborough Faire is known for its many Ladies and Wenches dressed to creatively display their Rubinesque figures. It is also known for its many Men in Tights. But heaving bosoms seem to greatly outnumber Men in Tights. Here we see Selena and Bast, with Selena being the Wench on the left.

King Henry and one of his Queens, the ill-fated Anne Boleyn, soon to lose her head... Bearing a striking resemblance to a woman of regal splendor and ravishing beauty, this is the Queen. This likely means the guy in purple is the King.

Click to View Video of a Visit to Scarborough Faire

Click for directions and a Scarborough Faire Location Map

words of wisdom from a longtime Scarborough Player

"If you start to take it too seriously, just remember that all we are is a bunch of people wearing funny clothes and speaking in strange accents in the middle of a cow pasture in Texas...."

the person behind this person is interesting looking...

This may be either a Lady or a Wench. It is not known if one can be both.

it is a mystery how some of these people tolerate the heat in all those layers of clothes... Many of the Wenches have their drinking vessel secured to their midsection. This lovely Wench listened as a group of Troubadours serenaded her.
is this the skeleton of a wench? Soon upon entry, prior to realizing the entry fee was a bargain, it seemed aggravating to come upon attractions requiring an additional fee, such as the Tower of Yorkshire which is some sort of castle where things go on which are not suitable viewing for children, according to the PG-13 warning on the entry sign.
some areas of the Village of Scarborough Faire Renaissance Festival looks like Disneyland... In many places Scarborough Faire has the look of Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland. Which seems appropriate since the day of this visit is Pirate Adventure Weekend.

Click to View Video of a Visit to Scarborough Faire

I just read your article on Scarborough Faire and would like to point out there is one picture taken at the Texas Renaissance Festival near Houston, not Scarborough Faire near Waxahachie. The picture has a comment about the Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland.

Durango just read your email and would like to point out that all photos were taken at Scarborough Faire near Waxahachie and he has never been to the Texas Renaissance Festival near Houston. The area in the photo above is near where the Mud Pit Theater is located, pretzel vendors seemed to emerge from a building here with their pretzel trees freshly loaded with more pretzels.

another Disneyesque Scarborough view... Restaurants selling Fajitas and Jalapeno Poppers. All standard fare in Merry Olde England.
the Scarborough Royal Entourage has many members... Members of the Royal Entourage walking among the people.
a couple Mundanes and a couple Playtrons... A Lord and Lady on the right and a pair of 21st Century Ladies on the left.
a classic 16th Century English Mud Pit Show in Texas... The Mud Pit Show in the Theater in the Ground. A messy messy display with globs of drippy mud flying towards screaming kids rushing to get out of the way.
16th Century England as seen in Texas at Scarborough can be a messy place with mud flying... The shows are rated. The Mud Pit is a PG-13 rated show. An R-rating may have been more appropriate. At one point one of the mud men said he was upset because overnight his favorite coffee store in the village had been turned into a, well, house of ill repute. His description of his dismay at what was done to him when he ordered his usual coffee drink is likely what gave this show its PG-13 rating. That and the contortions of the character named Scratch using his tongue to remove mud from sensitive areas. We'll see Scratch again later, being the Village Idiot.
a smoking Pirate and his non-smoking Wench... This would appear to possibly be a smoking Pirate, with his lovely Wench.
Click for directions and a Scarborough Faire Location Map

Thank you for visiting our humble place and giving press to our quaint village but perhaps next time, you might wish to consider calling ahead and arranging a personal guide to help you with your facts.

It would seem that maybe the Scarborough players should realize they are working in an entertainment venue which the public pays a fee to visit. As a paying customer the visitor has every right to enjoy the entertainment in whatever manner he chooses. He can choose to marvel at the supposed historical accuracy of costumes. Or he can marvel at the goofy things he sees. Or he can look for historical contradictions, like fajitas and jalapeno poppers in a place where some make claims to great attention to period detail. Or he can marvel at the size of the village and the various attempts at period architecture. Or he can marvel at all the wenches in bosom baring outfits. Or he can sit in a pub and drink expensive beer in historically inaccurate small plastic cups til those who brought him are ready to leave. And last but not least if the visitor wants he can make a webpage reflecting what he saw the day he visited Scarborough Faire. But arranging a personal guide and being concerned about non-consequential facts, that seems to really be expecting a lot from your fun-seeking casual visitors.

shade provides some protection from the blazing Texas Scarborough sun... Seeking refuge from the heat under the shade of a big oak tree this Lady in Red has a ten dollar bill stuck in her top.
it is not known if Flaming Ass Chili is among the 16th Century specialties offered at Scarborough Faire... The non-Wench half of this 21st Century Pirate Pair wears an interesting shirt that says 'Flaming Ass Special Chili'.
a Frump Store amongst the Scarborough Village merchants... A store just for Frumps. Their numbers are legion.
we met these Ladies earlier, it looks like they are still consuming their libations... A lovely pair of un-frumpy Ladies consume a noonday libation and some victuals.
this Wench (of Lady) seems to be consuming her libation out in the blazing Scarborough sun... Another Lady and Lord walk about the village swinging and swilling their mugs of ale.
16th Century English carnival rides at Scarborough Faire... For 2 bucks each you get to ride this dragon. It swings back and forth.
Ye Olde Mister provides some relief from the Scarborough sun... When it gets hot in this Olde English Village it is a bit refreshing to walk through Ye Olde Mister. Note the baby on the right being held directly under the mist. He seemed to be enjoying it.
we saw these 'Ladies' earlier too, it appears they are still out marching in the Scarborough parade... A collection of Ladies and Wenches.
is this a 16th Century rickshaw imported from China? Two women in interesting attire, particularly the one on the right, seem to be leading a rickshaw carrying a band of musicians.
a fiesty group of Playtrons playing various Scarborough characters... This group appears to be a cross-section of non-Royal Village Inhabitants---a Lady, a Peasant, a couple Wenches and a Belly Dancer.

All our cast members and a lot of "playtrons" do a lot of work researching their garb and portraying their characters. They are historically accurate and you mischaracterized many of them. How could one have mistaken a belly dancer for a lady of the court?

The above photo and comment is the only reference that could be found to a belly dancer and a lady. Don't really understand the complaint here. Have never heard of a 'playtron' before. Sounds like something from Star Trek, which is interesting because that's what this input from Scarboroughites is starting to resemble, only instead of the obsessive attention to Star Trek by Trekkies these are obsessive 16th Century Old England Scarbies.

The above correspondent did not object to one of the above Scarboroughites being called a Lady, but the following correspondent did...

Hello, I just took a look at your site. Actually, I'm in one of your pictures, the "cross-section of non-Royal Village Inhabitants." Just to let you know, there were no ladies in that picture. From left to right: wench, Friar, Gypsy, belly dancer, wench. I'm rather curious to know what your definition of Lady is?

If you have to ask, she probably isn't...The following correspondent defines a Scarborough Lady...

A Lady? Usually the most telling thing is a hoop skirt, or extremely fine looking brocades and velvets...lots of jewelry and embellishments.

The above definition of a Lady was provided by the Wench in Green (on the right) in the above photo. The following defines 'playtron' among other things.

A "Playtron" is a person who dresses in garb, but pays admission to the faire. Not a cast member. "Mundanes" are the folks who pay admission, but don't dress up.

This is not the first time Durango has found himself unknowingly mundane. The Playtron/Mundane info was provided by "Lady" Karen of the Blue Dragon who is a Gnaughty Gnomie Playtron and proud of it.

Click for directions and a 
Scarborough Faire Location Map

Click to View Video of a Visit to Scarborough Faire

extreme umbrage will be taken if you think this Scarborough Faire parade entry looks anything like something from the American Ante Bellum South period... This looks to be a group of Southern Belles from the New Country visiting England with one Belle being carted about by her manservant.
this photo seems to document the truism that most men should not wear tights... Many Wenches with tops barely covering their upper torsos and none of the rumored Men in Tights. Til this one was found.
if you want good tights you could probably find them in Fredericks of Sherwood, one of the many interesting Scarborough Faire Village merchants... We forgot to make note of this shop's name. Judging by the attire on sale it must have been Fredericks of Sherwood.
it appears here that nylons had been invented in 16th Century England... These Scottish Lasses look as if they may have acquired their clothes while shopping at Fredericks of Sherwood.
more Fredericks of Sherwood Scarborough shoppers... Many of the Lasses and Ladies and Wenches look as if they may have done their clothes shopping at Fredericks of Sherwood.
the Bird of Prey show with the Royal Scarborough entourage watching... Dozens of shows throughout the day in locales all around the Village. This is a Bird of Prey show with birds ranging from Eagles to Turkey Vultures. The Queen and her Court watch the show and participate at times.
a juggler puts on a show in another part of the Scarborough Faire village... Meanwhile on the other side of the Village a master of balancing performs for an appreciative crowd.
it is so hot another walk through Ye Olde Mister is needed... This is a very hot day, likely nearing 100. Another walk through Ye Old Mister is needed.
lush greenery protected by Scarborough trolls... Several trails and bridges connect the more open part of the village with the more heavily wooded part. One of the bridges is owned and operated by trolls.
a very bucolic Scarborough Village scene... The green cover of thick foliage reduces the heat and makes misting unnecessary.
precarious Scarborough Village architecture looming over a jungle-like gulley... A trail leads to a pub in the deep woods.
some of the Scarborough Village stores look as if they may have given the building inspectors a challenge... Wazelle's Wood Wizardry looks like a house where an Ewok might live.
another view of the shaded part of the Scarborough Village... Another view of the shaded village.
apparently there were Creatures with Wings in Merry Olde England... A pair of village inhabitants having some sort of face-off. The winged creature on the right seems to be casting some sort of spell on the seated creature on the left.
a religious figure later identified as The Bishop conducts some sort of water sprinkling ritual during the Scarborough parade... Some sort of religious figure walks about casting water out of a bucket.

That would be our Bishop and he's sprinkling Holy Water. On hot Texas summer days it feels wonderful to be sprinkled.

The above info was provided by a Proud Lady. One can't help but wonder if the church approves of its Bishop performing an air-conditioning function with one of his rituals...

elepants and illamas are part of the Scarborough menagarie... A beast of burden in Merry Olde England. Followed by an llama.
a very challenging way to beg for quarters... Though the sign says Royal Jerk, this is actually the Village Idiot, named Scratch. We saw Scratch earlier in the Mud Pit. When Scratch is not in the Mud Pit he sits at a busy intersection on a dusty road in the hot sun extracting quarters from Villagers.
do not mess with Sholo the Nubian... A fearsome Knight stands guard at a passageway to another part of the Village.

I just finished viewing your web site. It might be beneficial to at least have some of the characters correctly named --- the "fearsome knight" is not a knight but Shilo the Nubian.

So, there were a lot of Nubians in 16th century England, apparently. Much attention is paid to accuracy after all. Shilo sure appears to be a fearsome knight or guard of some sort. The correspondent above says this is not a fearsome knight, but does not say what he is, just who he is and where he is from, that being Shilo the Nubian...we later learn that this stickler for detail misnamed the Nubian!

The above correspondent says the fearsome Knight is Shilo the Nubian, but the following Scarboroughite begs to differ....


In email all capitals is considered shouting. So this correspondent is very insistent that the afore identified Shilo is actually Sholo. To this non-Scarboroughite Shilo has a much better ring to it.


The shouter returns. Pending being told otherwise it is believed that the shouter is actually none other than the entity known as Sholo the Nubian. This assumption is based on the fact that the shouter's email address has Sholo in the name. And with the following email we learn that we have indeed been hearing from Sholo the Nubian.


Thank you for the invite. Durango would very much enjoy going to either or both of these Faires.

these are representatives of the Scottish Regiment, apparently known as the Fencibles. Do not make the error of mistaking them for Pirates or anything to do with William Wallace...

Don't know if these are Pirates or some sort of ragtag William Wallace brigade.

As a reader, I truly appreciate the background research and impromptu confirmation of facts in your piece. I especially like the ongoing confusing of roles by the actors who take great time in their preparation of their role. It is apparent that you acquainted yourself with historical costuming as well as general English/Scottish history knowledge. How else could one have mistaken the Scottish Regiment for a "troupe of pirates"?

If you are going to have a themed event called Pirate Adventure Weekend it doesn't take to great a stretch of imagination to understand why the above photo would be described as it is. And the reference to those in the above photo being a William Wallace brigade is a reference to them being Scottish. Is part of being historically accurate being totally devoid of a sense of humor? Isn't it Merry Olde England?

(edited to fix spelling and syntax errors) While it may have been "Pirate Adventure weekend" the Scottish Fencibles remained just that, the Scottish Fencibles. Not the "Pirate Troupe that once were Scottish Fencibles". With the exception of possible 6 of the Fencibles, the rest of us (On an average day over 50 of us would march) are all "playtrons" marching because we are friends with each other, we're proud of Scotland and we have no need/desire to be tied to someone who died a couple hundred years prior to our faire's period.

So, what we think you're saying is you are neither Pirates or any sort of William Wallace Brigade since the William Wallace era in Scottish history pre-dates your era of concern by a couple centuries. So, we are pleased then to learn that the merry band of men in the above photo is a proud group of marching Scots called the Scottish Fencibles. And that the Scot on the far left, looking down at his kilt, is none other than the honorable Robert, L/Cpl of Pikes, Scottish Fencibles. It is not known if Robert is a McGregor or a McDonald or some other Mc.....wait, we have had further clarification!

Sorry about the spelling mistakes in my previous e-mail, I had yet to be to sleep in almost 2 days, simple error ;-) This isn't a blast or anything, just clarification. I was actually looking down at the boots of the Pike Sgt. standing in front of me making sure I was instep, and I am not a MacGregor or MacDonald or any Mac/Mc...I am descendant of the Clan Munro, my grandmother was born a Munro, her grandfather was the first of her part of the family to come to America...I would also invite you to see the website for the Scottish Fencibles so that you would have a chance to learn about us...

Thanks for the invite. And the clarification about the kilt. Seems like those must be the coolest costume on a hot day.

now this little guy definitely must be some sort of pirate...

This kid is definitely a Pirate. He is armed with a pistol. And a pillaging attitude.

yet one more of the Lasses blows us a kiss as we wave goodbye...

As we leave Scarborough Faire this Fair Lass blows us a kiss.

A kiss and this final word from a Scarboroughite of Great Wisdom...

Some of the folks get WAY too wrapped up in the Ren (Renaissance Festival) way and their own social scene and can't lighten up when someone pokes a bit of fun at the faire in general. You listened and fixed some of the glaring boo-boos and explained about some of the others. If they wanna get their noses out of be it...I think it's fun to find out how others see us.

Seems they should be quite pleased with how they look to an outsider. Scarborough Faire is very worthy of being visited.

Thus ends our visit to 16th Century England in 21st Century Texas. Next year we may return, as a Playtron in period costume, for an update. We will likely not be a Man in Tights, more likely we will be one more Village Idiot...

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