A History of the Faire
Begun in 1963 in Agoura, near Malibu, to create “living history” for school children and their families, the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire has grown into an annual interactive playground and gallery for over 200,000 participants and guests. It has given birth to an industry nationwide and this year is more fun and exciting than ever.
This Southern California Faire has traveled a bit since Agoura. The Glen Helen Pavilion provided two different settings in Devore (in San Bernadino County) where the Faire spent many years. Shortly after the turn of the Century, the Faire moved back to Los Angeles County, to its current home at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area, a United States Army Corps of Engineers’ Facility and a unit of County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation System in Irwindale, CA.
Since its inception, more than 5 million people from around the world have visited Southern California’s Renaissance Pleasure Faire, averaging approximately 20,000 each weekend.
If you’re going to visit a Renaissance Faire, I’d suggest one of the oldest: The Pleasure Faire of Southern California. Held in April and May in Irwindale, California, since 1962, it attracts a quarter-million people annually, reenacting a 1580s English market faire. Wander through Port Deptford, a waterfront town from Elizabethan-era England, in costume, enjoying jousting tournaments and roasted meat.
The Renaissance – to be “reborn” – A time when individuals celebrated the awakening of a new idea when the light was let into darkness. The Renaissance Pleasure Faire celebrates the spirit of this period of history, where people have the willingness to try anything and everything.
We offer the public an opportunity to experience a true Renaissance of our Renaissance, one that was introduced 60 years ago. The faire embraces a cornucopia of diversity and is unified in inviting our guests to enjoy the environment we have created – an escape from the stresses and demands of the modern-day. We offer cutting-edge performances, artisans, flavors, and culinary delights from the past and the future. These are the things that propel us into advanced forward-thinking.
As William Shakespeare wrote, “Let the world slip, we shall ne’er be younger.”
We are historically based with a twist of modern fusion.
We are 60 years strong and the adventure has just begun.
The Renaissance Pleasure Faire
What people have to say about the Renaissance Pleasure Faire:
I work in the service industry and when an experience meets and surpasses my expectations, I like to bring it to someone’s attention. So often we only hear the complaints and the things go wrong.
I started out going to the faire with it was in Agoura Hills then it moved to San Dimas. Now the best place I think is the dam. Close drive. I really didn’t go too often to the faire until my kids were older and it was something I knew they would enjoy and get a little history lesson about this period of time. Plus they get to dress up without the fear of standing out and being teased.
This brings me to one of your Vendors who gets it right. We wandered into a tent owned by Big Hat Pirates and I was so impressed by their attitude, professionalism and the assortment of merchandise. Their imagination, craftwork and one of a kind products were really stunning. It’s fun to see items that are not cookie cutter. It was nice how they made my kids feel special and spent time talked with them. Javier I think was his name was asking what they liked best about the Faire and made suggestions of things to do. There was no high pressure sells and they seemed like they were genuinely enjoying themselves. I have been in other booths were no one pays attention to you until it looks like you are opening up your wallet. I did end up purchasing an item for my son that I know he will keep for a lifetime.
Thank you for your time. I knew you would appreciate hearing about my positive experience. I plan to recommend this booth and Faire to my family and friends. I am coming back at the end of the month with my friend for Celtic Days.
Hi – Just wanted to throw in my 2 cents and tell you our favorite things about the Faire. We drive up from San Diego for opening weekend every year and when we arrive we go straight to see Moonie and Broon’s shows. Never miss them. Not sure we’d even come to the Faire these days if they weren’t performing, and I’ve been coming every year since the mid-80’s (loved the Mud Show, back in the day). We also enjoy the Poxy Boggards. I look forward to the unique shopping, especially all the fantasy art and designer glass booths. This year I made a second trip back with a girlfriend which allowed me to see the Sky Kings Falconry and they were incredible. I hope next year they’re at the Faire every weekend, so we won’t miss them. Thank you for putting on such an incredible Faire. I’ve been to several, but yours is by far the best – others just don’t compare. I look forward to the Faire every year – it’s the *only* Must See Event on my calendar!
Dearest RPF people,
I have been going since the Glen Helen days. My family are bigger fans, my nephew was in the Queens Army, Robert (Davis) assisted my niece (his cousin, Laura) in joining at Irwindale in St. Cuthberts group. Not having a car, I took her every weekend through the back entrance. Lastly, there was my brother John Sturges. He passed away this year before RPF begin, but he loved it. His Ren Faire outfit was placed at his funeral service. Thank you on behalf of all my family!
May I say again and again we are pleased to be a visitor of the faire
I have been attending since I was 17, back in Malibu in the early beginnings of the faire. This is when local high school singing groups were invited to participate with the regular actors and groups.
My husband and I attend almost every year, and our daughter (now 32) has been coming from even before she was born!
Hazah to you and yours, merry day to you!