Imagine a place where you are instantly transported into fantasy, where whimsical delights occur right before your very eyes and visions of the past come to life. Scents and smells make your mouth water and a teeming village full of new surprises is waiting for your full exploration. No, this isn’t some adventure in a big-budget movie- you’re at the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire!
Celebrating its 55th year, the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire first opened its grounds near Malibu, California as an opportunity to create an interactive history lesson for inquiring minds of all ages. Over time, the Faire grew into an annual tradition that has served, according to the Faire, “more than 5 million people from around the world averaging approximately 20,000 each weekend.”
Now you may be asking yourself: “What exactly does someone do at a Renaissance Faire?” Good question! There are plenty of interactive and exciting things to do throughout the Faire grounds. You will find yourself getting to know the various personalities of the 1,600 costumed performers and artisans. You can get in tune with the local musicians and musical acts, see amazing acrobatics, watch knights on horseback, and even have tea with the Queen! There are so many different aspects to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire but three immediately stick out: entertainment, food, and shopping.
The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire boasts thirteen, yes thirteen stages of entertainment of all types, each Saturday and Sunday! Here are some of the different acts you will find:
- Aerial Silk Dancers
- Stilt Walkers
- A One Man Romeo and Juliet (new this year!)
- Plus, Faire favorites such as MooNie! The Magnif’cent, The Poxy Boggards, The Merry Wives of Windsor and the Joust!
I’ve personally been attending the Faire for almost ten years now and have always had the pleasure of experiencing the entertainment that grace the stages each year. There are performers for all ages, all type of talents and humor, and moments where you won’t believe your eyes and ears.
Don’t think that you’re going to come away with not wanting to spend some money at the Faire either! Visitors will find themselves reaching for their wallets and wanting at least one item that the over 125 artists have to offer. From fine-made clothing to household goods, from swords to jewelry, soaps, perfumes, and so much more, the Faire boasts a grand marketplace for all to enjoy.
After soaking in all the sights and giving the amazing artisans a few of your dollars, you’re going to be hungry. The food at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire is by far one of my favorite parts about attending the Faire. I always, always, come hungry. The Faire’s expansive food court includes a menu that highlights “both local and internationally trained chefs, twenty-three food vendors offering an array of foods from fish and chips and sausages to salads and sorbets. “ Vegetarian or Vegan? Not a problem! There are options available for everyone! For the older Renaissance Faire patrons, there are a variety of drinks to enjoy. Some of the best ciders are available for those wanting to taste, as well as favorites such as mead and delicious mixed concoctions. I highly recommend the Black Cherry cider!
Want to attend the Faire with more of a theme? They have you covered! Many of the weekends are themed in some way, shape, or form. One weekend may highlight the marketplace and get you a free ticket if you purchase a certain amount, another weekend may be filled with the clamor of pirates, while another weekend may suspend time altogether and invite Time Travelers from any century! New to the Faire this year is a weekend they are calling RennCon™. Here’s more about this new weekend theme:
“Trying to decide whether to hit the faire or the con this weekend? Now, brand new for our 55th anniversary, you no longer have to choose! Join us on RennCon™ Weekend, for our first ever celebration of cosplay in all its forms. Attend a panel, take in the scenery, and enjoy some very special surprises! Whether you draw your inspiration from the sci-fi scene, anime, comics, television, fairy tales, or anywhere else… we invite you to mingle with our 16th century townsfolk in the biggest costume party in L.A.”
The weekend also boasts a Masquerade Costume contest, which you may see at many conventions, as well as a performance by Steam Powered Giraffe on Sunday, May 13th. Described as “singing musical automatons,” and “more than just a band,” this performance would be something that Faire patrons might not want to miss!
The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire is open weekends, April 8th to May 21st, 2017 and located at the Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area in Irwindale, California. For more information, head to their website.