The 16th century is alive and well in Irwindale, transporting visitors into the past with colorful costumes, handmade crafts, and bawdy humor. The Renaissance Pleasure Faire 50th Golden Jubilee Celebration is off to a great start with a brand new layout and the addition of food trucks. The faire ends on May 20.
The entertainment continues to be broad and diverse. Where else can you hear Middle Eastern music accompanied by belly dancers, walk a few feet and see someone juggling bowling balls or even catch a glimpse of William Shakespeare? A few new acts are already causing a stir. “Suspended Reality” amazed it’s audiences with its aerial acrobats, and the “Herencia Flamenca” captivated people with their passionate flamenco dancing. The “Kung Fu Heros” have taken time from “Americas Got Talent”, “Cirque du Soleil”, and hanging out with Jackie Chan to entertain us with their martial arts inspired dancing.
Let’s not forget our old talents, returning with already proven Renaissance Faire hits. Extremely popular hammered dulcimer player Glen Morgan has returned, and so have the juggling, tumbling, flipping Kondor Brothers!
Back and better than ever, the “Belles of Bedlam” thrill the crowd with their suggestive humor. Songs with lyrics like “Roll me over, lie me down, and do it again…do it again” and “I’ll drink to that!” you can understand why they are only allowed in Rogues Reef- a 17 and older stage. Joining them are the handsome men of the “Poxy Boggards” a “drinking group with a singing problem” and “The Merry Wives of Windsor” who also perform a PG-13 (instead of the hard R) version at the Royal Music Stage.
Personally, I feel the best forms of entertainment at the Renaissance Faire are the interactive performing artists! I had villagers selling me fish, joked with Washer Women, listened to the town criers, and saw Puritans arguing over moral values. I even caught a glimpse of the elusive “Fantastikals”, fairies or spirits (new to the faire) who roam around, wordlessly in bright makeup and costumes communicating with gestures or suddenly darting off into the crowd.
The Kids Kingdom has been increased to include crafts and a gnome quest in addition to the games and cute knighting ceremony already part of the faire. The childrens area also includes “Merlins School of Magic”, puppet shows, and Renaissance game learning.
Next to the kids area is the food court. Turkey legs, steamed artichokes, and corn on the cob-traditional food fare! For the carnivores out there try the “Steak on a stake”, pulled pork sandwich, or the tri tip chili! Feeling a little adventurous? Try the Piroshkis , delicious Balsamic salmon on a bun (grilled to order!), or the Italian Pizza Pyes. I even caught sight of “Grill ‘em all”, winners of the ‘The Great Food Truck Race’!
After lunch try out the games! Throw a javelin, launch a toad, or grab a friend and have fun at the dueling cannons. Games not your thing? Take a fencing lesson or ride the dragon swing! Don’t forget the amazing shopping opportunities! Everything from incense to leather craft! Even hand forged jewelry and weapons made my Master Artisans.
The new layout makes finding your way around much easier. You are not stuck to one main path, but can easily wander throughout the Faire, returning to your favorite booths or discovering new ones. Fun for the whole family-don’t miss the 50th Annual Renaissance Pleasure Faire ending May 20, 2012! Tickets are available through the website, at the gate, or at select Walgreens. Check the website for certain discounts and coupons. Tickets: $25/adults $15/kids (5-12)