If my clan is going to drag me from my hovel beneath my rock kicking and screaming - they better be taking me to where there is food or faeries. Or faeries that feed me. The last week of October provided such an outing at the Expo Center in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The Wandering Dragon Medieval Market hosted by East TN Events had come to town, and it was an amazing experience to walk amongst the talented artists, creative vendors, and pointy-eared entrepreneurs of the Forgotten Realms. There were faeries, elves, knights, tieflings, witches, oh and some mermaids even got permission to come up and take photographs with the muggles who were mingling among the fae.
We even got to see some black knights put on a fun little combat show! And while I'll admit I may have spent too much money, the experience was worth it through and through. It was very much an indoor Renaissance fair, which is just another way of saying: We're going shopping for NERD STUFF (because really, the nerd stuff is really the only thing worth spending hard-earned money on that isn't sustaining day-to-day lives).
Wandering through this market, there are a few amazing vendors that I would be happy to support again and again. And I will be highlighting just a few here of my favorites:
Knoxville Mobile Karaoke was stationed there. Adam English, the main man of this gig had a beautiful cape draped over him as he conducted the sounds of medieval fancy mixed with popular songs that we all know and love in our mundane world. The effect was a happy, fae-filled dance floor, dancing to the lutes and sounds of fantasy and modern-day tunes.
This sly conductor had two huge dragons standing guard over him, keeping guard against any toll that may have intervened in our celebration of dancing and spending money.
Another vendor who blew my mind was Miss Allora, owner and operator of B.D.S.M, which is actually NOT what you think. It stands for Body. Divinity. Spirit. Mind. Which I think is a great business name. This beautiful tiefling was there displaying resin art. She had made dice rolling trays out of metal trays and resin. She makes beautiful dice, candles, pins, and more. We bought one of her rolling trays we loved her stuff so much.
Another vendor that I spent money I shouldn't have at was Miss Angela Waddell, owner and operator of Olde Tyme Craftworks. She Is AMAZING. So when I walked up to her booth, all I knew was that I was looking at a giant table that had the most adorable, sturdy fairy village on it. There was a playground set with a working seesaw and swing, and outhouses with tiny little rolls of toilet paper. A castle turret towered over the others in the middle, tall enough to make any Iguana or large lizard feel like a dragon.
The best part. Her little houses were sturdy, and made of real natural materials. Riverstones, wood, bark, moss, wire, seashells, glue, resin. It was all beautifully put together. Then she told me the cool part... her little fairy houses are SOLAR!!! They light up at night.
My bubba and sissy bought me a little house, and I bought an outhouse and a playground set. I had at once a beautiful little gnome garden, but a bad storm made a large branch fall on it. These will be a beautiful start to rebuilding it.
So obviously my nerd passions know no bounds. There was a booth that I did not get to stop at (probably for my wallets own good) that was selling freaking mushroom hats. You know, the mushroom crazy in the new Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom? Oh yeah.
Next time I go to this market I hope that vendor is there… because I AM SO GETTING ME A MUSHROOM HAT!!!
Gnomeward Bound was also there, displaying their wreaths that are to die for. I wanted one of these so bad I couldn't stand myself - but I had to start showing self-control somewhere (It's probably good I'm not rich or I would have so much stuff like this I wouldn't know what to do with it). Check out their Facebook page, and look at this cute little business card. Ohgosh.
Blessing Way Pottery handmakes all of her pottery in her own kiln. I spent a lot of time in her booth, admiring her amazing wheel-spun pottery. Everything there was original, unique, and handmade, and the passion and love that went into these mugs, vases, and dishes had me blown away. As an artist, I felt of everything there, this was perhaps the booth where the most love resided within the items, and all the items weren't just mass-produced with money in mind.
There was a lot more. Baked goods, tons of different homemade crafts, axe throwing, so much. I can't even scratch the surface of all the amazing vendors that were there. So keep an eye out for the next Medieval Wondering Market in Knoxville, Tennessee, on April 20th, 2024.