Renaissance Pleasure Faire
Saturdays and Sundays April 8 – May 21, 2023 · 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Southern California Renaissance Pleasure Faire. Buy or rent your Ren Faire costumes here at Etoile. The best prices and selection around.
Renaissance Faires are a little bit craft fair, a little bit historical reenactment, a little bit performance art. There are booths selling crafts and food. Parades wind their way through the crowds. Jugglers, musicians, magicians, and other entertainers perform throughout the day. You may wander about, examining goods for sale, sampling foods, watching plays and performers, and of course drinking fine English Ale.
Begun in 1963 in the rolling hills of Agoura, California, the Original Southern California Renaissance Pleasure Faire gave birth to what is now a nationwide industry. Local Renaissance faires can now be found in every state in the union. Medieval festivals, Viking battles and historical reenactments of many other eras have also sprung up, offering a feast of sights, sounds and smells in a world far too used to viewing history in two dimensions on a movie or television screen. Since its inception, more than 5 million people from around the world have experienced Southern California’s Renaissance Pleasure Faire.
Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area
Saturdays and Sundays April 8 – May 21, 2023 · 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
THEME WEEKENDS – Click on the pic of the Queen above to be swept off to the Faire website for additional details.
If you’ve never been to the Rennaisance Pleasure Faire, then it’s hard to convey a sense of it. The sheer number of things to see overcomes most people, when they go for the first time. There are ribbons and flags waving in the wind, the sound of bells, of lutes, of ocarinas in the air, the lilt of foreign accents, the smell of cooking foods and flowers, the warmth of sun on your face and the wind in your hair. The setting aside, what differs more is the people. People work at faire to have fun, to entertain. If you’re willing to play with them, they’re happy to banter with you. When was the last time someone tried to sell you something by insisting it was carried on the backs of explorers from the wilds of the far off Indies?
The Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Southern California is the largest and oldest of the re-enactment/craft faires. Unique among all events, however, is an annual gathering to celebrate the roots of the first Renaissance Pleasure Faire – the womb from which all other renaissance faires emerged. Those who were there at the original site in the Agoura Hills north of Los Angeles, and those who wish they could have been, gather to picnic, to renew old friendships and make new ones, and to remember. Held on the first day of spring each year.
A Little Renaissance History
The aim of Renaissance education was to produce the “complete human being” conversant in the humanities, mathematics and science, the arts and crafts, and athletics and sport; to enlarge the bounds of learning and geographical knowledge; to encourage the growth of skepticism and free thought, and the study and imitation of Greek and Latin literature and art. The revival of interest in classical Greek and Roman culture inspired artists, architects, and writers. Scientists and explorers proliferated as well. The term “Renaissance”, to describe the period of time, was first used in the 18th century. Renaissance, in most countries, was a period of intensity in all things: work, play, music and the arts, world exploration, war, crime and punishment, love, hate, religion and superstition.
QUEEN ELIZABETH I
Elizabeth was born in 1533, child of Henry VIII and his 2nd wife Anne Boleyn. The fact that Elizabeth was a daughter of the second wife was of great importance in determining ascendancy as the Catholic Church did not permit divorce. Elizabeth I crowned in 1558.
The Elizabethan period covers 1558 through 1602, from Elizabeth’s Coronation until her death. England and France were the major powers in Europe. The Irish had been conquered and mostly suppressed by the English. Shakespeare was young compared to Elizabeth, but was writing in the 1590s. Galileo was in his 30s in the late 1590s. It was a period of trade and expansion, with merchant trips into the Indies and into Russia. Mary Queen of Scots executed in 1587.
Queen Elizabeth ruled England, maintaining her power through careful manipulation of the Church and the feuding powers of Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leichester and Lord Burleigh. Elizabeth at one point conspired to marry Leichester to Mary Queen of Scots in order to bring the Scots under English rule. He, upon marrying a ladies maid of Elizabeth was banished from Court for some time. Elizabeth’s favor (and the power and prestige thereof) were sought by the players at Court.
Mary Queen of Scots
Margaret Tudor, sister to King Henry VIII, married the King of Scotland, has son James. James married Mary of Guise, who has daughter Mary in 1542. Guise is the most powerful family in France, making a strong link between France and Scotland. James dies near Mary’s birth making her Queen and Mary of Guise regent. Mary later marries Francis II, the heir to France. She moves to France when young, leaving her mother to govern Scotland. When Francis II is crowned, Mary becomes the Queen of France. Francis dies young however, and Mary rules France until her mother’s death. As her mother’s death leaves Scotland without a ruler, Mary returns to Scotland to govern in 1560. But she’s thoroughly French and very Catholic to boot. She remarries Henry, Lord Darnely and thus acquires another link to the English throne. Both Mary and Elizabeth were Tudors, Mary being Catholic, Elizabeth being Protestant, and Elizabeth not being accepted by the Catholics due to her mother being Henry VIII’s second wife Anne Boleyn. So the Catholics despise Elizabeth and like Mary, despite her French origins. Mary and Lord Darnely have a son James. Lord Darnely dies under mysterious circumstances and Mary remarries. This leads to her being run out of Scotland to England of all places where Elizabeth, to protect her best interests, puts Mary in prison in 1567. Mary is imprisoned for twenty years. As a focal point for plots to overthrow Elizabeth, Mary, even imprisoned, is not free of intrigue. She constantly sought her freedom and jumped at all conspiracies. One plot sought to marry her to England’s last Duke (Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk). This was seen as treason by the Crown as the marriage could form a better claim to the throne. Although Norfolk was likely innocent of the plot, he was executed in 1572. Walsingham set Mary up the Babbington plot in the mid-80s and managed to prove her guilt. Mary was found guilty of conspiring to murder Elizabeth; she was put to death in 1587.
Upon Elizabeth’s death in 1602, James I of Scotland becomes the ruler of both countries.
We are located at 18849 Ventura Boulevard, between Reseda Boulevard and Tampa Avenue, in Tarzana; a San Fernando Valley suburb of Los Angeles. Our customers come from as far away as Santa Clarita to the north, Orange County to the south, Pasadena to the East and Westlake Village and Ventura to the West…and everywhere in between.
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