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Wednesday, July 8, 2009
According to the events listing on the beautifully done site, Faires.com, there are Renaissance Faires and Festivals almost year-round. And we’ve got Medieval and Renaissance costumes to help you get in the spirit.
RenFaire.com can help too. Their home page says, “Step back 400 years to a time of Romance. Shakespeare is in the prime of his career. Sir Francis Drake has circumnavigated the Globe. The New World exists as a boundless frontier. The Dark Ages are done. Fiat Lux” (Latin for “let there be light”.) Their page goes on to tell us that a “Renaissance Faire is an amalgam of many things. Its partly a craft fair, its partly historical reenactment, its partly performance art.”
Wikipedia explains that such events generally include an abundance of costumed entertainers, musical and theatrical acts, art and handicrafts for sale, and festival food. Renaissance fairs encourage visitors to enter into the spirit of things with costumes and audience participation. Most tolerate, and many welcome, fantasy elements such as wizards and elves.
Time periods and themes may vary, some focusing on Pirate themes or encouraging participants to wear costumes representing several eras in a broad time period, but most Renaissance fairs are set during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England, or during the reign of Henry VIII.
The very first such fair, The Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Agoura, CA, was originally designed by the Living History Center to resemble an actual spring market fair of the period. Both actors and vendors were required to successfully complete workshops in period language/accents, costuming and culture and to stay "in character" while working. Since the beginning in 1963, there are now over 100 independent faires all over the United States.
If you don't see what you have in mind, we can create a custom-made costume for you too!