Spritely Merrymaking: Renaissance Pleasure Faire Opens - NBC Southern California

Spritely Merrymaking: Renaissance Pleasure Faire Opens

Medieval high jinks rule Santa Fe Dam.



    Spritely Merrymaking: Renaissance Pleasure Faire Opens
    Ren Faire
    Dress historic or dress with some whimsy: Ren Faire returns to Santa Fe Dam on Saturday, April 6.

    If you've lived in or near Hollywood for longer than two weeks, you know that timing is indeed everything.

    If you're launching line of '60s-inspired wear, it can't hurt to do it around the "Mad Men" season premiere. If you're launching a dance studio, a dancing reality show can only help.

    And the fact that the opening date for the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire, which is traditionally the first Saturday in April, follows the much, much, much anticipated season premiere of "Game of Thrones" by mere days? We can only guess that there will be a host of new fans heading to Santa Fe Dam to get involved in all of the medieval merrymaking, courtesy of television's most buzzed-about series. (Which, as you likely know, has a Ren Faire-perfect setting, if slightly grittier.)

    Whether you've been an aficionado over the past half-century -- and, if so, you'll remember when it was out in Agoura rather than Irwindale -- or whether this will be the first year you go, know that SoCal's Ren Faire is one of the Ren Faires to trump other Renaissance faires everywhere. If two Ren Faires were jousting, please; SoCal would be the shining knight.

    Why do we puff and brag and wave our flag? Well, it did start a half-century ago. It does cover some twenty acres (and that includes entertainment, music, booths selling various historic crafts, jesting, jousting, and delicious meads and meats). Craft demos and battle pageants are part of the pageantry. The costumes are spectacular, both by those who work the festival and those who attend. And the whole affair sparkles like a gem in a queenly crown. Oh yeah; royal courts strut about, too, lending historic flavor.

    It's a weekends-only deal, from Saturday, April 6 through Sunday, May 19. There's a hotel deal, too, this year, with shuttle, if you don't want to deal with parking. Oh! And costume rental, too. The works, basically. Figure that ye old medieval days were a bit harder to slog through, without all of the amenities that Ren Faire offers.

    Our favorite thing, thought? Renaissance faires naturally lend themselves both to accurate costuming and the fantastic, too. As much as we like the '60s-era, and "Mad Men," and all other decades, only medieval events seem to readily embrace both sides of the real/unreal coin. "Game of Thrones" does it well, too. Which makes us wonder if we'll see any of those characters in costume in Irwindale.

    A general adult admission is $25.

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