I just got back from the Georgia Renaissance Festival, which was, after reflecting on it for a moment, probably not worth the long drive. The Ren Fest was fun, and was made even better by the fine company we kept, but it was a long drive to spend the day mostly among pirates.
The first time I went to a Ren Faire, there were no pirates -- they hadn't become trendy. Last year, the ubiquity of pirate stuff was a little annoying, but I have nothing particularly against pirates, so I tended to ignore it.
This year, however, the pirate stuff seems to be pushing the medieval stuff out of the Faire. For example, last year our kids bought Robin Hood-style hats. This year, no such hats were available. I looked around for a T-shaped tunic for myself (I had even saved up a bunch of money for it), but this year no shop carried them at all. I don't mean they didn't have one I liked, or one in my size, or whatever. They just plumb didn't have medieval clothing anymore.
There are still some medieval things -- for example, they still have jousting, and swords and fairy-related items are still available -- but I would say that the Faire is now dominated by pirates. Nothing wrong with pirates, but not my scene.
After a year to think about it, I might change my mind, but for the moment, I think I won't be returning to a Ren Faire until this pirate trend gives its dying whimper.
Hmmmm ... I wonder what the SCA is doing this summer?