fairgoers

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You may know mead — an ancient alcoholic beverage made from water, honey, and yeast — as a drink that’s popular among Renaissance fairgoers and Game of Thrones fans.

Meadmaker Andrew Geffken is on a mission to add another group to that list: the average beer drinker. At Charm City Meadworks in Baltimore, Md., he’s experimenting with modern takes on this age-old drink.

The current problem, Geffken says, is that mead just isn’t cool enough to woo hip craft beer drinkers. But with a little help from hops — many a beer drinker’s favorite ingredient — he thinks he can change that.

Geffken isn’t the only meadmaker attempting to revive this old-timey beverage — mead’s popularity has risen rapidly in recent years. Charm City — which Geffken opened with co-owner James Boicourt in 2014 — currently makes enough mead to burn through 5,000 gallons of honey each month.

This Modern Meadery Is Making Honey Wine Hip — With Hops

Photos: Morgan McCloy/NPR

…together, together, together…

The centaur galloped past the sasquatch, who chased after him but could never keep up.

The giant snake kept quiet as the mages planned poker night.

The mermaid sat on the rock and listened to the boardwalk’s rollercoaster roar by, the pleasant screams of fairgoers echoing through the night.

The cockatrice flapped its wings, mightily, ineffectively, as the ravens flew overhead.

The skeleton eyed the minotaurs pumping weights enviously before shuffling on its way.

…together, together, together…

The sasquatch chased after the centaur, stopping as his stamina waned. Ah, but then a big, beautiful red bicycle caught his eye. A note, tucked into the spokes: “Catch up, I keep winning.”

When the snake returned home, she was greeted by mechanical arms shuffling a deck of cards. The fingers followed her gaze and turned the cards this-way-and-that in response to her movements. The arms were bright blue, her favorite color.

“That’s a waterslide, by the way.” The carnival barker handed the mermaid a roll of tickets by way of introduction.

An egg-shaped ballon, fitted with a basket and a propeller, landed next to the cockatrice.

“Could you teach us to move like that?” the voice behind the skeleton was gruff and timid. The skeleton turned around. “Excuse me?”

“Yeah, well, we’ve seen you in that there dance class? At the gym,” a second minotaur mumbled shyly. “Yer so light on your toes… could you, erm, give us some tips?”

In the late 1800s, the hot new fad sweeping the country was “target games.” If only there were some way to combine this new craze with the old standard pastime of horrible racism …

Hey, somebody did it!

Popular games included “Hit the Coon” and “African Dodger,” where you literally just threw balls at black people, and then laughed because you weren’t them.

Live targets were eventually replaced with fake heads, but 19th-century fairgoers still wanted to cause at least some discomfort for black people, so they came up with the African Dip.

In this progenitor of modern dunk tank games, the thrower would hit a target, triggering a release, which caused the dunkee (shockingly enough, always a black person) to fall in the filthy and freezing water. It was good, harmless fun for all! Except for anybody who wasn’t white, of course.

Hey, Sorry, But 5 Of Your Favorite Things Are Racist

Taylor Swift exhibit part of 2016 State Fair of Texas

The 2016 State Fair of Texas will carry the theme “Celebrating Texas Agriculture.”

Fair officials on Wednesday announced details of the annual expo planned Sept. 30 through Oct. 23 in Dallas.

Fairgoers can also get an inside look at the life of singer and songwriter Taylor Swift.

An exhibit called “The Taylor Swift Experience” includes memorabilia such as costumes, photos and instruments. The display will include the light blue Reem Acra gown that Swift wore last year during the Academy of Country Music awards at AT&T; Stadium in Arlington.