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Renaissance Pleasure Fair comes to LA County

Written By: Abel S. - "Honest Abe"

04/09/2011

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It’s time for a Renaissance (Faire)!

Spring is in the air.  Now is the time for such traditions as spring cleaning. This will be the time of year when you’ll finally clean out the garage and have that damm garage sale! Maybe you’re looking forward to school being almost done for the semester. Maybe you’ll spend some time catching up on your favorite T.V. shows as the season winds down to the end. Yes, now is the time for all these things but for me it means only one thing.  Starting April 9th, the Renaissance Faire (http://www.renfair.com/socal/) is back in town!

I speak from experience when I say that a Renaissance Faire is unlike any standard carnival you may attend. Where else can you chomp on a turkey leg as you watch the Dance Macabre perform in front of you? Where else can you walk around in shorts and t-shirt, holding a beer, as the Queen of England is paraded by?  Where else will you hear some rockin’ sea shanties performed by the raunchiest pirate band you’ll ever see onstage?

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There is so much to see and do. Aside from the great food, there are many different types of shows to see.  Most of them are quite hilarious. The musicians are all quite talented. Of particular note is The Dread Crew of Oddwood.

(http://www.thedreadcrewofoddwood.com/index.html)

You’ll never see such a lovable yet raunchy pirate band perform as these scurvy scalawags!  I’d also recommend the music of Glenn Morgan. He plays a very soothing dulcimer.  (Note: He doesn’t perform on a stage. You can usually find him set up in front of the lake.) There’s also jousting just like you’d see at Medieval Times.  There’s plenty for the kids to take part in.  Some of the shows are geared to them and there are games for all ages. Try the cat-apult, for instance. Try the giant maze. And for the bigger kids, there’s archery, spear throwing and axe throwing! If you really want to get into the spirit, you can even rent a costume for the day. There are vendors where you can purchase your very own authentic Renaissance outfit which leads me to talk about some of the cool things you can purchase there.

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First, there are two booths, one near the entrance, where you can purchase your standard souvenirs such as Renaissance Faire t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc. But for something truly unique, spend some time perusing the arts and crafts. As I mentioned, you can purchase your own outfit. One example is Tickle Thy Fantasy. (http://www.ticklethyfantasy.net/TTF/index.html) The clothing is beautiful and comfortable. Ask for Janine. She’ll show you some outfits that you’ll just be dying to try on.

There are vendors selling masks and crowns made of leather. There are other leather goods as well to complement your outfit. Need a medieval weapon? You’ll find it here. How about a genuine pewter goblet or stein? Maybe you’ve been looking for a set of pewter wine glasses? Then look no further than the Fellowship Foundry. (http://www.fellowshipfoundry.com/) They also have pewter jewelry and figurines. You’ll find some unique spices and teas, not to mention some artwork for your walls.

Finally, if you want something truly beautiful for your home, or maybe a gift for someone else, look no further than the crystalline glaze of Jon Price Ceramics. (http://www.jonpriceceramics.com/index.htm)  He has a wide variety of vases as well as jewelry and Christmas ornaments. Jon is one of the most enthusiastic vendors you’ll meet at the fair and he loves to talk about the intricacies of his products.  You’re eyes will be amazed at the beauty of his works.

I’d like to give you a few tips on what to bring to make sure you fully enjoy your day at the faire. 

1)      Cash.  Many of the vendors do take credit cards (otherwise known as Master Card and Lady Visa) but all of the food vendors are cash only.  There are a few ATM’s available but who wants to pay the service fee?

2)      Sunscreen.  Slather it on in the parking lot, even if it’s overcast.  You’ll thank me later.  I’ve seen many a nasty sunburn already developing by day’s end on the ill prepared. 

3)      Comfortable clothing and shoes.  Loose clothing would be good.  Shorts and t-shirts.  Ladies, this is definitely not the place for heels of any kind.  The ground is paved in only a few spots.  For the most part, you’ll be walking on grass or dirt and rocks (or both).  I’d suggest an older pair of sneakers that you won’t mind if they get dirty.  A lot of dust may get kicked up from time to time so sunglasses or a hat would be a good idea as well.

4)      An appetite.  The aromas in the food court will overwhelm you.  Hand cut French fries.  Turkey legs.  Beef ribs.  Stuffed potatoes.  Toad in a hole (not a real frog, relax!)  Bangers and mash.  Gyros.  Chocolate covered cheesecake on a stick.  Jumbo cookies.  The list goes on and on.  Not to mention the many beer and ale stands.  Don’t worry; there are drinks for the kids available.

5)      A positive attitude.  Remember that you’ll be outside and it may be a hot day.  You might trip (as I often do.)  If it’s your first time, you’ll definitely not know your way around.  Make sure you pick up the free map available at the entrance, as well as the program guide. 

6)      Camera.  Hot wenches in corsets and cleavage-y outfits.  Need I say more?  Oh yeah, they love to pose for pictures.

Keep all this in mind and by day’s end you’ll be dead tired, well fed, and ready for bed.  HUZZAH!

With hundreds of different cosutmed performers, artists and musicians, there are plenty of sights and sounds to entertain the senses. Alright you say, it sounds awesome and different; now for the details. The faire is located at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area in Irwindale, CA. The faire is open on weekends from April 9th until May 22nd, from 10am till 7pm. Parking is $10. Admission is $25 for adults and children ages 5-12 are just $15.00. Check you local paper for coupons or you can check the official website for different coupon offers.

Abel S. a.k.a. "Honest Abe" has written reviews for Dark Horizons, JoBlo and MusicTap.  He has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. He can usually be found at his keyboard ranting and rambling about the human condition or watching Beavis & Butthead.