Much like the Renaissance period, this weekend's namesake festival was frought with challenges.
Torrential rains and wind on Sunday night and Monday morning wreaked havoc on the sets and costumes for B.C. Renaissance Festival, dampening what was already a somewhat problematic weekend, said coordinator Christina Carr.
Mother Nature was not so kind to organizers of the sixth annual Renfest held Thursday through Sunday at Thunderbird Show Park in north Langley, she said.
Between the rains that plagued three of the four days, last-minute site changes, the unexpected lack of a liquor licence, several sick volunteers, and lower than needed attendance, this year's festival will not go down in the history books as a "great success."
"Rainy days were a tiny attendance. It seems the weather was discouraging folks," Carr said.
"Saturday was incredible and Sunday was good. I estimate attendance to be around 2,000 over the weekend. We needed 3,000 to break even. I am hoping the games and rides did well. I won't know until cash box is counted," she added.
But despite some significant hurdles, Carr said there were also many positives that came out of this weekend's event, including the return of the popular jousting competition featuring Oregon fighter Ripper Moore, a coach from the popular television show Full Metal Jousting.
"Society of Tilt and Lance braved the unpredictable weather and the show went on," Carr said, lauding the perseverance.
This year was also marked with the arrival of many more spectators in period costumes, as well as a strong showing of people involved in the U.S. renfest circuit - who came to offer support to their "Canadian cousins," Carr explained.
Spectators also commented favourably about the cast who - whether on stage or wandering through the crowd - brought the 16th century alive for all throughout the weekend.
"Fifty per cent of our vendors didn't make all the sales they needed to. But on the positive side, the other 50 per cent did, and the vendors expressed their understanding of weather issues as the key culprit," Carr said.
She also received suggestions from shoppers about what kind of vendors they'd like to see added, including costume rentals, sword sellers, tea vendors, and more art, toys, and crafts exhibitors.
As for the future, Carr remains optimistic the event will live on despite a "less than spectacular" year.
"It is my hope to continue to provide a place for creative performers and unique vendors to grow, inspired by history," she said, noting that planning has already begun for next year's festival.