With a Side Order of Medieval, Celtic, Pirate and Dickens’ Faires
Unfortunately, Renaissance Faires 2021 remain canceled in CA. However, from what I can see on Instagram, Renaissance Faire’s are taking place in some other US states.
In a non-COVID year, it’s possible to attend a California Renaissance Faire nearly every weekend of the year! There are 22 faires and festivals statewide. Some of these faires have different historic themes such as Medieval, Celtic, Pirate, Fairy and Dickens. If you are inclined to travel, there are also Renaissance Faires throughout the US and in Europe each year. It’s a national and European phenomenon!
March – April 2021
ROSEVILLE: Kingdom of Herron’s Edge of Spring Fantasy Fair March 2-3
Placer Valley Event Center
Celtic Bands, Fairy Queen, Fantasy Realms
HESPERIA: High Desert Pirate Festival March 16-17
Hesperia Lake Park
Celebrates the Golden Age of Pirates.
BAKERSFIELD: Medieval California Festival April 13-14
Kern County Museum Grounds
Celebrating the times of King Charles and Queen Caroline, Knights, and Medieval Times
IRWINDALE: The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire April 6-May 19
Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area
FREMONT: Tartan Day April 6
Ardenwood Historical Farm
Celebrating all things Scotland and Celtic
ESCONDIDO Spring Renaissance Faire April 27-28, 2019 and May 4-5
Felicita County Park
VISALIA: Tulare County Renaissance Festival April 13-14
Featuring The Knights of Mayhem
May – June 2021
FRESNO: Pirate Festival June 20-21
OROVILLE: Feather Falls Renaissance Faire May 25-26
Feather Falls Casino & Lodge
Free Memorial Day Weekend Faire with Renaissance historical re-enactment, as well as fairies, mermaids, pirates, Vikings, and more.
CORONA: Koroneburg Old World Festival May 25-June 24
Crossroads Riverview Park
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE: Valhalla Renaissance Faire June 6-7
Camp Richardson Resort
VALLEJO: Northern California Pirate Festival June 15-16
July – August 2021
SAN LUIS OBISPO: Central Coast Renaissance Festival July 20-21,
Laguna Lake Park
English Renaissance village for this summer’s fantasy entertainment.
BIG BEAR CITY: Big Bear City Renaissance Faire July 20-21, 2019, July 27-28, 2019, August 3-4, 2019, August 10-11
The shire of The Enchanted Shire recreating Renaissance (circa 1558-1603).
SAN JOSE: San Jose Renaissance Faire August 3-4
Discovery Meadow Park sanjosefaire.com
PLYMOUTH: Midsummers Fairytale Celtic Ren Fair August 25-26
Amador County Fairgrounds
September – October 2021
FOLSOM: Folsom Renaissance Faire September 26-27
Folsom City Lions Park
LOMPOC: Lompoc Renaissance Faire September
IDYLLWILD: Idyllwild Ren Faire September 27-29
HOLLISTER: Northern California Renaissance Faire September 19-October 25
Casa De Fruta
HANFORD: Kings Fair October 5-6
Hanford Civic Park
GRASS VALLEY: KVMR Celtic Festival September 27-29
Nevada County Fairgrounds
BLUE LAKE: 11th Annual Medieval Festival of Courage October 5-6
November – December 2021
SAN FRANCISCO: Great Dickens Christmas Fair November 21, – December 20
Cow Palace Exhibition Halls
Renaissance Faires Go Back to the 60’s
The idea for Renaissance Faires originated with an LA schoolteacher. She had the idea to throw a Renaissance-theme party for her high school students. The following year she and her husband, a movie art director, threw a Renaissance fair as a fundraiser for a local public radio station. That fundraising event grew into the Original Renaissance Faire that today plays out over 7 weekends every year in Southern CA and sparked interest in Renaissance Faires across the US.
As to entertainment, you’ll be treated to jousting, carousing, and on-stage and spontaneous street performances of all kinds. Don’t expect to go hungry. Food vendors sell meat pies, tea and tea sandwiches, scones, tarts, turkey legs, and beef ribs to approximately match the time period. (As well as all kinds of contemporary American fair foods.) Many attendees are costumed, in addition to the paid actors. Additionally, all faires have vendors of Medieval or Renaissance cloaks, trinkets and gifts.
New Twists on the Ren Faire Theme
The Original Southern California RenFaire ups the ante with RenQuests. Guests travel throughout the faire grounds to decipher clues, solve problems, perform daring tasks, and avoid dastardly villains. It’s a unique immersive, interactive adventure — a festival-wide escape room, if you will.
Renaissance Faires Themes
The majority of Renaissance Faire’s focus on the Reign of Elizabeth I and Shakespeare. That’s also known as the 1500’s AD and same as the first RenFaire in Los Angeles. Some Faires go back in time to Viking Times, Medieval Times, Robin Hood (1100’s AD), Chaucer (1300’s) or Arthurian Times. A few faires vary the location and take you to olden Scotland, France, Italy or Germany. And there’s at least one faire that goes forward in time, forward from the Renaissance that is! That’s the delightful San Francisco’s Great Dickens Christmas Faire!