Central Coast Renaissance Festival, July 21 & 22, 2012
The year is 1585. Queen Elizabeth and her stunning Royal Court are on their summer travels throughout England to meet her people. They stop at a small village near the English Channel. The excited villagers have prepared a celebration for Her Majesty, including a spectacular summer faire. The Queen’s own chefs have arrived before her to prepare a great feast for the entire village, and her brave knights are holding a rousing joust for her entertainment.
And so we lay the scene for the 28th Annual Central Coast Renaissance Festival, held in San Luis Obispo’s El Chorro Regional Park on July 21 & 22.
Media coordinator Rick Smith says that the village comes to life as reenactment groups portraying Irish, Scots, English military, woodworkers, peasants, rogues, seamen, middle class, musicians and the Queen's Court set up camp and give living history demonstrations. “We have over 500 costumed participants and the costumes are absolutely fantastic,” he says. “They are so authentic”. He explains that each participant develops their own Renaissance-era character and they know that character’s name, what they do for a living, how they fit into society and how that character interacts with the other people in the village. “It makes it more real for everyone,” he says.
“This is our 28th year and we try to make it different and better every year,” Smith says. “We have a wide variety of stage acts including comedy shows, dancing, music, magic tricks, juggling and even a parrot show. The joust is the real deal, a full contact sport. We’re one of the few jousts with a female jouster, and she is good! You can spend the entire day here and be entertained the whole time.”
Smith says there are continuous stage shows including comedy, a parrot act, music, dancing and plays. “Our performers are professionals who come from all over California,” he says, adding that this is a family event. “Children will enjoy pony rides, face painting, games, wooden toys and a petting zoo.”
Vendor coordinator Justin LeCavalier say the festival presents a unique shopping experience. ”Over 50 vendors will offer everything from swords to complete costumes, hats, footwear, tankards, leather goods, jewelry, pottery, wooden toys; basically anything that looks like it could have existed around the year 1585.” LeCavalier, who makes chain mail, says they strive for authenticity not just in the good solds but in the booths themselves. “Our vendors are a part of the show and they have to have period costumes and booths,” he says. “It all adds to the fantasy.”
LeCavalier says that food will include the traditional roasted turkey legs along with meat pies, roasted sausages, salads, sandwiches, foods from the Orient, handmade ice cream and more. “Guests can quench their thirst with freshly squeezed lemonade, iced teas and of course, the Queen’s own beer, ale and wine.” A new edition is a beer garden where visitors can sit at tables in the shade, be waited on and enjoy entertainment arranged especially for them in an intimate enclosure.
Smith says that guests are welcome to come in costume but that it is not required. “We love it when our guests want to be part of the fun by dressing up. If you don’t have a costume and you get into the spirit you can find anything you need at the festival, from a simple hair wreath to a peasant blouse or complete costume. Whether visitors come in costume or not, they’re sure to have a wonderful time.”
Parking is across Highway 1, at Cuesta College. Parking is $2.00 per car and there are free shuttle buses running constantly to the festival entrance. Hours are 10 AM until 6 PM on Saturday and until 5:00 PM on Sunday. Adult tickets are $17, seniors and ages 6-15 are $10. Pets are not allowed. Information, directions and advance tickets are available at www.CCRenFaire.com.
- Festivals & Fairs
- Food & Drink
- For Kids
- Live Music
- Special Event
- Theater & Dance
- Volunteer Opportunity
- Wine Related