Walking through the Bay Area Renaissance Festival at MOSI really does feel like stepping back in time. Ladies is flowing gowns, men in tunics, even knights in armor surround you. There’s music in the air and a sense of fun. While it may not be obvious at first, Renaissance Festival attendees often have a strong sense of commitment to their community and that community extends beyond the bounds of the festival.
Venture into the parking lot for the festival and you’ll spot the Big Red Bus, a OneBlood bloodmobile, waiting to collect blood donations. Journeying onto the Big Red Bus can be a surreal experience. Inside modern technology clashes with men in silk doublets and ladies in fair finery as folks donate in their best Ren Faire attire.
Blood donors receive a collectible T-shirt, free admission to the festival, plus the added knowledge that they have saved someone’s life. And if you talk to some of the blood donors, you’ll find that the reason that they donate is that third gift – saving a life.
From the royal court to members of the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism, to families out for a day of fun, the Bay Area Renaissance Festival offers a step back in time. But don’t forget to take a step onto the Big Red Bus and save a life.