Tuesday, May 3, 2016


The Renaissance Pleasure Faire has been taking place April through May since the 1960s.  It started off in LA County and then moved to San Bernardino for several years, which is quite a ways away for us Angelenos, especially in traffic.  Recently it has moved back in town and currently running in Irwindale, which is just east of Pasadena.  I remember my high school physics teacher, a British guy, was highly involved in the fair.  He was a good teacher and fun guy, so I always figured it would be a good time.  The fair participants are known for going whole hog into character and kind of live the Renaissance life every weekend for the length of the fair.  I had never attended the fair before. This weekend was my first visit.
The rumors were true.  There were more people dressed in costume than not.  This was the line up to the opening parade.
There is a queen of the fair as well as other royal court members.  Many of the participants even live in the camps around the fair grounds each weekend.
There were several stages with shows and music as well as demonstrations (metal work, spinning wool, glass blowing) throughout the fair.  They also offered a lot of options for children.
 There was a May Pole with dancing and sword fighting.
One of the participants was telling us that they have to work themselves up through the ranks to be part of the fair.  Here they were even testing swordsmen and women to qualify them for the fair.
I always enjoy a fun sign.  These were some of my favorites...
She stood outside protesting the jousting match.
The jousting match was fun.  The queen of the fair watched from her thrown while three horsemen, dressed in their armor, competed.
Each weekend of the fair, they have a dress theme for visitors.  This past weekend was steampunk victorian.  I'm not really sure how that connected to the renaissance fair, but some of those costumes were great...
I told my friends that we needed to start thinking of our costumes for next year.  I'm not sure if we will actually do it, but I'm pretty sure that butterfly wings are a must!


  1. I love all your photos! I've always thought it would be great fun to attend one of these. My son and his girl ran up on one in Minneapolis and sent me a few photos.

    The closest I've come to seeing anything like this is the King Arthur's Tournament show in Las Vegas (which I've seen and enjoyed four times!).

    I know a year is a long way off, but you must dress up next time and remember to share photos here. :)

    1. Ha! Costumes and bringing attention to myself are not my thing. But there, not one person was self conscious in costume, and they were the norm. We were out of place in our regular clothes. Maybe!! :)

  2. Wow, this is something you can visit weekly !.
    I expect it's something you could become very addicted too, and even go so far as to include husband,wife and a gaggle of sprogs is a sorta 'life' that may become even more real than going to work as an accountant for a bank, oil co. or studio.
    I'm not sure about the jousting off horseback.
    I think there was a film made about it a while back with Jane Lynch.

    Looking for San Bernadino gave me some notion of the sheer size of that city you live. Dammit the next place is Tucson.

    1. I think some are "addicted" to it. There were tons of families and couples of all ages.
      The jousting was crazy. I had assumed it would be like pretend, but it was real! It was fun rooting for our knight. How often do you do that? :)
      SBD County is giant compared to LA County. For an urban area, LA is quite large, but SBD county is about 5 times larger in area...not in people though.

  3. That's a long fair. When I lived in Cedar City, UT, there was a fair that went for several days... but then the city also had the Utah Shakespearean Festival that went all summer and into the fall.

    1. It is long. I don't know for sure, but it seems to be our longest one in town. We have others that are a few weekends and most are just one weekend. It seems like the planning of this one, even by the participants who make minimal $$, is extensive. They little pop up communities on site for its duration.
      We have so many festivals in the summer, and it's just so warm. Most festivals I've attended are fun at the start but as the sun rises in the sky it's miserable. We had storm brewing during this one so the cloud cover was wonderful. It was a pleasant day.

  4. Really interesting. We have something similar here in TN but does not run as long. The ones who go "whole hog," as you say, are an interesting lot, aren't they? Similar to the war re-enactors - very much in character.

    1. Yes, it's funny you mention the war re-enactors. My friends and I were saying the same thing. They jump right in with both feet. This, in my opinion, might be a little more fun than war, but to each his own.