Renaissance Faires in California 2023

by | Jan 16, 2023 | Costumes and Cloaks

With a Side Order of Medieval, Celtic, Pirate and Dickens’ Faires

Updated January 16, 2023

There were about 20 Renaissance Faires in CA before the pandemic. As we all know the pandemic was challenging for events, even outdoor events.

For the 2023 season there are 10 Renaissance Faires that have officially announced their dates. Check back, as some of the Faires that happen in the second half of the year have not yet announced their dates. Looks like there will be about 15 Ren Faires this year.

Also, if you are inclined to travel around the country, there are also Renaissance Faires throughout the US and in Europe each year. It’s a national and European phenomenon, that began in Los Angeles in the 1960’s. More about that later.

March – April 2023

CALVERAS: 37th Annual Celtic Faire March 10, 11, 12, 2023
Calaveras County Fairgrounds, Angels Camp, CA
Featuring a medieval tournament with horseback riding stunts, jousting and hand-to-hand combat with swords and other medieval weapons.

HESPERIA: High Desert Pirate Faire with a Renaissance Flair March 18, 19, 2023
Hesperia Lake Park, 7500 Arrowhead Lake Rd, Hesperia, CA 92345
Celebrates the 16th century “Elizabethan Era” (1558–1603), however as this is a fantasy faire, you are welcome to come as a dragon, fairy or mermaid.

IRWINDALE: The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire
Saturdays and Sundays April 8 – May 21, 2023

Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area minutes outside of Pasadena, CA
The Renaissance Faire that started them all — this faire attracts a quarter-million people annually, reenacting a 1580s English market faire.

(More Renaissance Faires below)

Renaissance Faires CA

@dressmeupscotty from Instagram in a Raven Fox Capes Signature Cloak in Riding Hood Red

VISALIA: Tulare County Renaissance Festival April 15-16, 2023 Tentatively
Plaza Park, Visalia, CA
Featuring The Knights of Mayhem. Come cheer on your favorite knight as he competes for the queen’s honor in an exciting full-armored joust.

ROSEVILLE: Kingdom of Herron’s Edge of Spring Fantasy Fair (postponed since 2020)
Placer Valley Event Center @The Grounds
Celtic and Fantasy-Themed Bands, Fantasy, Steampunk, Apocalyptic, and Medieval Realms, Bicycle Jousting, Knights in Armored Combat

May – June 2023

ESCONDIDO Renaissance Faire April 29-30 and May 6-7, 2023
Felicita County Park
Travel back in time and witness the Battle of Hastings, fought on the 14th of October, 1066. This re-enactment captures the battle between William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy) and Harold Godwinson (King of England). 

Pirate Festival May 14-15 (No official 2023 dates yet.)
Kearney Park, Fresno, CA
Interactive, educational, and entertainment about varied pirate and privateer eras.

SHASTA: Renaissance and Fantasy FaireMemorial Day Weekend May 27 – 28, 2023
Shasta District Fairgrounds, Anderson, CA
Renaissance historical re-enactment. Climb aboard the Viking ship, play games with the pirates, meet fairies, ogres, mermaids and more!

CORONA: Koroneburg Old World Festival – weekends May 28 through June (No dates yet for 2023)
Crossroads Riverview Park, Corona, CA
Features a beautiful facsimile of a 16th Century German village.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE: Valhalla Renaissance Faire (postponed since 2020)

VALLEJO: Northern California Pirate Festival June 15-16 (postponed since 2020)
Vallejo Waterfront
(More Renaissance Faires below)

CA Renaissance Faires

Raven Fox Hooded Men’s Cloak with POCKETS in Ranger Green / Available in Black, Red, Green and Brown

July – August 2022

SAN LUIS OBISPO: 37th Central Coast Renaissance Festival – July 15-16, 2023
Laguna Lake Park, San Luis Obispo, CA
It is the year 1585 and Queen Elizabeth I is England’s magnificent monarch. Here you’ll find legendary characters like William Shakespeare, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Francis Drake, and a host of famous Dukes, Earls, Lords, and Ladies. See knights in full battle armor fighting with steel swords, axes, and pole arms.

BIG BEAR CITY: Big Bear City Renaissance Faire (Postponed since 2020)
Big Bear Lake, CA
The shire of The Enchanted Shire recreating Renaissance (circa 1558-1603).

SAN JOSE: 9th San Jose Renaissance and Fantasy Faire — August 3-4 (Postponed since 2020)
Discovery Meadow Park, San Jose, CA
Rub elbows with nobility, beautiful ladies, and Knights, meet the Queen of England, Fairy Queens, Ogres, and Mermaids. Take in Imperial Knights and their whimsical theatrics, equestrian skills, and jousting proficiency.

Ren Fair

Raven Fox Hooded Women’s Cloak with POCKETS in Robin Hood Red / Available in Black, Red, Green and Brown

 

September – October 2023

FOLSOM: Folsom Renaissance FaireSeptember 24 & 25 (2023 Dates To Be Announced)
Folsom City Lions Park

IDYLLWILD: Idyllwild Ren FaireSeptember 22, 23, & 24, 2023
53155 Idyllbrook Dr, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA
Visit the Spanish Renaissance in the Shire of Idyllwild

HOLLISTERNorthern California Renaissance FaireSeptember 23th -October 23 (2023 Dates To Be Announced)
Casa De Fruta, Hollister, CA

GRASS VALLEY: KVMR Celtic Festival – September 30 & October 1, 2023
Nevada County Fair Grounds, Nevada City, CA

BLUE LAKE: 11th Annual Medieval Festival of CourageOctober 1 & 2 (2023 Dates To Be Announced)
At Christie Ranch in Blue Lake, Humboldt, CA

November – December 2023

SAN FRANCISCO: Great Dickens Christmas Fair November 19 – December 17 2023
Cow Palace, Daly City, CA
Enter the winding lanes of Victorian London and immerse yourself in a world of music halls, theaters, pubs, dance parties, and little shops filled with hand-made holiday gifts. Discover holiday revelry in this lamp-lit city with hundreds of lively characters from the imagination of Charles Dickens.

Hobbit Cloak

Raven Fox Hooded Men’s Cloak with POCKETS in Ranger Green / Available in Black, Red, Green and Brown

 

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.

Renaissance Faire California

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 Faire California

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!

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