This was my first renaissance festival. I was surprised at how affordable the food was (I had sort of been expecting Busch-Gardens-level expensive) and how delicious it was. I had macaroni and cheese on a stick (yes, it's possible) and a baked potato and tried some of my boyfriend's turkey leg. The shops actually had some high quality stuff (not kitschy at all). Watching the jousting was fun, and the German juggler had some cool tricks and was mostly funny. I was tempted to ride an elephant because I've always wanted to, but I wanted to save that experience for something more than a glorified pony ride. The best part is just watching the people. My boyfriend commented that it would be a time-traveler's nightmare, and I bet he's right. Nevertheless, it was good fun. I will second, however, another Yelper's comment about people smoking - it was quite inescapable, so keep that in mind.
As for the National Equality March, it was incredibly inspiring. Nothing like being with hundreds of thousands of people who are all gunning for the same change you want to see to brighten your day. On top of that, there was a spontaneous rainbow on the sunny, clear day, which we took as God's approval. Of course. I believe in rights for everyone. I don't think being slightly different should mean you hold less worth as a person in the eyes of politics. I stood by my LGBT friends and fellow allies as we marched passed the White House and up to our nation's Capital Building. I took a lot of pictures which I will share later. There were many signs; some funny and some simply true. I only saw 3 protesters, and they weren't doing a very convincing job. There were many states and colleges represented (people from Alaska, Princeton, U of Wisconsin, and Harvard, among those I saw). There are so many people who just want the same freedoms that the normative culture enjoy (marriage, the right to serve openly in the military, immigration rights, etc). I hope that the nation saw all of us in all our different shapes, sizes, colors, and personal identities and was inspired by that.