For six weekends a year the monarchy reigns, and lords and ladies take over a piece of LA real estate for the Renaissance Pleasure Faire, the largest Renaissance festival in Southern California. The Faire adds new activities and special events every year with theme weekend, costume contests and food and drink events.
Go to Renaissance Faire Photo Gallery.
When: April 6 - May 19, 2013, Saturdays and Sundays 10 am to 7 pm
Where: Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area, 15501 E. Arrow Hwy, Irwindale, CA at the intersection of the 606 and 210 freeways, Irwindale exit off the 605.
Cost: $25 at the gate or $23 online/$17.50 earlybird, Children 5-12 $13.00 online/$10.50 earlybird/$15 gate, Children 4 and under are free. $1 per ticket service charge online. Additional fees for games, rides and food. Discount coupons are available from the website. Discount tickets also available from participating Walgreens stores.
Parking: $10 park entry fee
The venue is set up along one main path that snakes back and forth, so you can see everything if you make it from one end to the other.
Eight stages offer theatre, comedy, dance, music and swordplay performances, including a children's stage and some adults-only offerings. You can ride the Maypole Carousel, Moon Swing or Giant Rocking Horse or try your hand at archery, sword fighting, stick juggling and many other rides and games. Artisan booths house craftsmen and women making and selling pots, swords and chain mail. Glass blowing demonstrations happen on the hour. Encampments of costume-clad actors line the main thoroughfare where various parades and processions, including Queen Elizabeth I and her Court, pass by on their way to the Jousting Arena, where armored knights battle on horseback, cheered on by the crowd.
There are a few beverage booths scattered around, but virtually all the food vendors are in the Food Court, about one third of the way down the trail. Food prices ranged from $5 to $17, with most items in the $6.50-8.50 range. The traditional turkey leg is $7. Beyond the Food Court, there is a lone food vendor selling nachos and tamales.
Each year special ticketed events are added which may include pub crawls, tea with the queen or other unique opportunities.
If you want to fully join in the medieval spirit, costumes are available for rent inside the gate.
Go to Renaissance Pleasure Faire Photo Gallery
Information was accurate at the time of publication, but is subject to change. Please check the event information for the most current information.