Renaissance Pleasure Faire
I had no idea what to expect when we pulled up to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale, California. Would people be in costumes? Would there be shows? How immersive would the experience be? We got there on a Saturday around 11 am, about an hour after the Faire opened. Parking was $10 and very easy. As soon as we parked, I spotted people in amazing costumes. It was about 87 degrees when we arrived and I felt so bad for all of the people who decided to dress up. I knew they must be SWEATING underneath their layers. Upon entering, your bag is quickly searched and you are immediately thrown into the Renaissance. Seriously, I was stunned. I have never felt so transported to another time. Everything was on theme and the best part? All of the people in costumes committed to their characters and never once broke character. It was fun just hearing them talk!
The Faire is very spacious so I highly recommend dressing in comfortable clothing and shoes that you don’t mind walking in and getting dirty. You are first met with scenes that look like they are from a storybook. The characters were the best. Everything from their costumes to their words were of the Renaissance time. I loved how friendly the characters were with children! It was beautiful to see kids so amazed. You are surrounded by knights, jesters, pirates, wenches, fantasy characters, fairies, woodland creatures and of course, Queen Elizabeth! I was so impressed by the effort that people put into their costumes. Better yet, it was refreshing to see so many happy people in their element. Everywhere you look, there is something going on. You might see a fairy talking to another fairy, a man selling “butchered meat,” women sewing, men drinking from goblets, and pirates being rowdy. Throughout the Faire, various parades would take place. Sometimes knights would be carrying Queen Elizabeth around, or Protestants might be protesting. I truly had no idea what to expect around each corner and I absolutely loved it.
There are a ton of vendors at the Faire, selling everything from pet dragons, soaps, costumes, swords, goblets, henna and toys. I couldn’t help myself but buy a deliciously scented black cherry soap from a nice vendor! I stopped in many shops, mostly because they were selling items I had never seen before, such as Queen Elizabeth type gowns. If you have ever wanted to buy something from the Renaissance era, this is your chance. I screamed when I saw an entire store dedicated to flower crowns!
There are lots of activities, which I wasn’t expecting. There are tons of carnival type games such as axe/sword/knife throwing. There are numerous stages that host shows every hour. We were lucky enough to catch the Bird Show, which was THE BEST. There were live birds, such as falcons, owls and vultures. The trainer let the birds fly around and they flew super low to our heads. We had to duck and hide our food behind our backs to that the vulture wouldn’t take it! I had never see a vulture or owl so close up. We also saw freestyle Bagpipers and a Gypsy dance show. The greatest show of them all? The real joust with knights! I was NOT expecting real horses and real men dressed as knights to actually joust but it was so fun! Everyone was cheering for a different knight and Queen Elizabeth was there too!
We were easily able to spend 4 hours at the Faire, despite the heat. There are a lot of food options and of course, beer. They even had a pub crawl going on around the Faire. I took my time browsing shops, watching various shows/demos and just taking it all in. It truly felt like I had time traveled into a different era. I am so blown away by the level of effort and time that goes into this production. I had no idea anything like this even existed but I am truly happy I went! The Renaissance Faire will be in Irwindale till May 21, 2017 so I advise you to get your tickets and go! This is a fun day for a couple, a family or even someone who just wants to go alone and marvel. There is no way you can have a bad time here, as everything is pure FUN.
For more information and tickets, please check out: www.renfair.com/socal