Cake From The Funnel (And Illegal Photography) At Penn’s Colony

Achievement: #87. Go to Penn’s Colony

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the three years we’ve been doing our Achievements list, it’s that things are not always as magical as we expect them to be. Occasionally, coffeeshops don’t list their winter hours when they should. And sometimes, eggs don’t balance on their ends when expected. And every so often, movies sell out, and oh yeah, it rains and rains and rains.

But I can’t deny that it still upsets me a bit when we put our heart and soul into going to an event, only to wind up feeling disappointed. Penn’s Colony, I’m looking at you.

Penn's Colony
Penn’s Colony is an annual event held each September in the Pittsburgh area that I’ve gone to a bunch of times since I was a little kid. It’s like the Renaissance Festival of the 1750s, which I remember being full of fun reenactments, fabulous costumes, and some lady who spun wool right off the angora bunny she held in her lap.

So, I thought, “Let’s revisit this wonderful childhood memory, take a bunch of silly pictures, smoke some of the best hookah there, and spend the morning talking about our pantaloons!”

And this is where the problems arose. We drove all the way out to Saxonburg (not a short trip from the city, I might add), only to read on a sign posted at the entrance, “No photography allowed.”

Ummm… EXCUSE me?? Did we just drive for an hour to see people in pantaloons and not be able to take pictures of them?? Oh hell no. We are bloggers, and it is one of our charming and signature traits to be constantly taking pictures of everything.

If what follows gets us kicked out of future Penn’s Colony events, so be it. The Renaissance Festival welcomed our gratuitous photo-taking habits.

Penn's Colony
Penn’s Colony is largely made up of shops, similar to the way you find them at the Renaissance Festival or Three Rivers Arts Festival. The only exception to this was that we seemed to be completely unable to afford anything at Penn’s Colony. I really wanted a nice, autumn-colored wreath for our door, and after perusing several booths, the cheapest one I could find was $129.00. Yes, you read that right!

Penn's Colony
We took this secret picture simply because I spent a long time picking out a fabulous fall outfit, and I was not about to be at an event without a photo of what I was wearing. Please note the addition of a Terrible Towel in my pocket, as we had to hustle out of Penn’s Colony to catch kick-off.

Penn's Colony
We did not ride the horse and carriage ride, but we did take a sneaky picture of it as it passed us by.

Penn's Colony
And no posted ‘no photography’ sign was going to keep me from taking a photo of a ‘cakes from the funnel’ sign. Unfortunately, it was quick and a single take, so I didn’t get a chance to realize Michael’s eyes were closed. My bad!

Penn's Colony
Finally, once we had circled the booths, we exited the gates and felt comfortable standing in front of this lovely cornfield for an actual, posed picture. I don’t mean to get my pantaloons in a twist about the lack of ability to take photos at this event, but seriously? I was allowed to take pictures at the U2 concert. How on earth was I not allowed to take pictures of authentic-looking 1750s army uniforms??

Penn's Colony
I don’t think we’ll be back any time soon to Penn’s Colony. It coincides with the weekends of the Renaissance Festival, and I feel that if we’re going to do something where people are wandering about in costume, I’d prefer to be at the one where I can document the outfits. Also, the people acting in character were few and far between. We saw more people in costume smoking cigarettes behind booths than we heard people talking in Ye Olde 1750s Dialect. And not one person heckled us at the gates or talked about my boobs. Clearly, we have established the superior September event in the greater Pittsburgh region.


Filed under #87, #87-11, autumn, fair, festival, history

3 Responses to Cake From The Funnel (And Illegal Photography) At Penn’s Colony

  1. Kate

    That's extremely disappointing. I was thinking about going to that (because the Sterling Fair is quite a drive), but wasn't sure how it would be in comparison.

    The only possible reason I could see for not being able to take pictures is a lack of releases from the actors/actresses? But, I would definitely consider that an absolutely necessary part of that job, and if someone wasn't comfortable with that, they shouldn't be working there. They're like character actors/actresses at Disney…you should be able to take photos with them! Also…129 for a wreath is insane!

  2. 101achievements

    I would agree!! And honestly, I would think that if you're the type of person who enjoys dressing up in period costumes, you would probably be the type of person who likes posing for pictures with fans (at least that is definitely the way all the crazy fabulous actors are at the Ren Faire!).

    The more I thought about it though, we have pictures of us as kids *after* the festival with our toys and goodies, but none actually at the place, so perhaps it's always been like this, and I just never noticed. Clearly I need to just have my own Penn's Colony-like festival in my backyard next year, so we can all take photos lol.

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