When someone mentions the word “renaissance” in conjunction with a place name in the U.S., one should take that with a grain of salt. When I first learned of A Renaissance in Roanoke, I had visions of people in ruffled costume, chamber music and lots of sugary delights. Kind of an interesting idea for a place that boasts a mural like this one
As it turns out, however, renaissance really means street fair supporting local artists, which is much cooler anyway. First of all, there was music. At the time of our arrival, we just caught the tailend of the performance of the J Taylors, both of whom have great voices for the type of music they sing. Check out their website for upcoming dates.
A street fair without food is just pointless, but luckily, Roanoke catered to your hunger, whatever it may be for. There was a stand by Naked Tchopstix whose fare looked a bit bland, unfortunately, and was probably overlooked because of that. Or it may have been the taco stand next to it, which served a big variety of freshly prepared taco baskets. The Ragin Cajun Food Truck also offered blackened chicken tacos, along with other undoubtedly tasty selections, but we saved our appetite for the lunch offerings at the Joseph Decuis Emporium: the Wagyu burger and pulled pork sandwich. For those with a sweet tooth, there were also French crepes, cookies and cup cakes from the Rolling Pin Bakehouse, fabulous pies and apple dumplings from Grandma Sue’s Pies and More, Inc. or gelato at Moose and Mollie’s. I know there were other places that I’ve simply not written down, but suffice it to say that if you had a hankering for something, you were likely to find it.
Art lovers and connoisseurs of fine things were presented with more options than any one wallet could serve, and the tiny selection of stalls I grabbed business cards from is merely a fractional representation. I won’t even mention the silversmiths, leather works, photography stand, caricature booth, barbecue and spice vendor and many others with beautiful and original items. Robin Satterthwaite’s gorgeous jewellry share a space with the amazing fountains crafted by Julie Lahr; each piece is unique. Sadly, neither of the ladies has a website, so you’ll just have to take my word for it or ask me for their email, if you are interested in what they make.
Cherie Droege’s stall was filled with beautiful paintings. She specialises in watercolours and pastels and also gives instructions, if you are interested in painting. Again, no website. Other booths that stood out for me were Art Work by tPulley and Brenda Mann’s Mann’s Best Friends, which has given me a neat idea. If I had any actual drawing talent, I’d love to create greeting cards like those found at Tammy Hyndman’s stand, Working Mom Productions, Inc. But my absolute favourite were the gorgeous flowers by Michael “Hap” Hapner which are made from… recycled vinyl albums! I just had to have one of those (look for mine on Facebook soon!). Hap’s assistant gave me his Facebook to contact him, but as usual, I can’t seem to find anybody.
I’ll leave you with some general impressions of this warm and sunny afternoon and hope you had a great weekend!