Dear Crabby, Do I Have to Dress Up to Enjoy the Michigan Renaissance Festival?

Dear Crabby,

Why do you think so many adults love to dress up in costumes and attend the Michigan Renaissance Festival?

Curious Caryn

Dear Curious Caryn,

You ask an interesting question. I mean, why do folks go to Comic-Con and dress like their favorite super heroes? Or why do mostly grown men take part in Civil War reenactments when it won’t change the outcome? I think part of it is, we all have a special hobby that we love. And when we find others who are just as enthusiastic about it, there’s an immediate bond. Now as for me, I enjoy tinkering around on cars and motorcycles. There’s no costume involved, but I used to belong to a car club and we wore snappy sports jackets. After one car show Mrs. Crabby told me that when I was around the other fellas it was like I was speaking a whole other language. She and the other wives didn’t get it, but they loved and supported us anyway. However, in the case of the people who dress up for Renaissance fairs, they are speaking another language – olde English. For some, I’m sure the medieval (I paid attention in school) time period holds a fascination for them just as other decades do for others. It’s a chance to escape. And let’s face it, given what’s going on around us on a daily basis, escaping for a few hours doesn’t sound so bad. Plus, I gotta give them credit for being dedicated enough to wear those costumes out in public. Speaking of the costumes, some of them can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars if the person wearing it wants to be as authentic as he or she can be. And while some people might scoff at spending money on something so silly, I’d have to ask them what they spent for their newest putter or designer handbag. It’s all a matter of perspective. Besides, being able to get dressed up allows not only for fun, but I bet the person enjoy getting to be someone else. Who knows how many doctors, high-powered lawyers, CEOs, etc. are walking around in costume at the Michigan Renaissance Festival? I’m sure it’s more than you and I think. And as someone who doesn’t dress up, I can tell you from past experience that the people watching is excellent. So, while you don’t have to dress up to enjoy the festival, I think it’s okay if you decide to.

Huzzah! (and all that jazz)
Dear Crabby

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Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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