Scarborough Faire's first run was in 1981. The festival is open Saturdays and Sundays from the first weekend in April until Memorial Day Monday. The festival is historically based in the 16th century, under the reign of King Henry VIII. The festival is 35 acres (140,000 m2) in size, taking place on a 165-acre (0.67 km2) site. There are 21 stages with more than 200 performances. Three jousting shows take place each day. There are about 150 cast members that make up the characters at Scarborough Renaissance Festival. Almost all of the cast members are volunteers.
Special programs at Scarborough include "Friends of the Faire", an exclusive festival membership with benefits, Student Days, which are special days open only to school groups for educational purposes, and Wedding Packages, which you may purchase to have your own Renaissance-themed wedding in the festival's special Wedding Garden.