Before it was known by its contemporary name, the "Renaissance Festival", the first festival back in '74 was nothing more than a place for people to celebrate a second Halloween by dressing up as King Henry VIII, or Anne Boleyn, whereby using an off-the-map remote dirt field as a three day weekend to party hearty.

Remember Woodstock?

History cites 1963, where the first venue attracted some 8,000 people as past of a radio fundraiser, but the official, unofficial inception, that sparked  --  a renaissance  --  was in 1974.  I didn't attend this blow-your-mind inaugural soiree, because rumor suggests that only 23 people knew about it, and the participants were to have allegedly been Jeff Spicoli and his "buds".

But I did attend the festival in 1977 in a tiny Southern California hamlet called "Agoura Hills Ranch", when it was called "The Renaissance Pleasure Faire" (pleasure being the operative word here), and while today's event is still loaded with medieval spirit, the "faire" in '77 was almost communal in nature.

This is what it looked liked 35 years ago.  I am actually in this footage, but you wouldn't recognize me:

The 2012 Texas Renaissance Festival plays each weekend through November 25 in Plantersville, Texas, and while highly commercialized by today's standards, it is still one of the best "festivals" to see.