Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Southern California

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Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Southern California
Genre Renaissance faire
Dates April - May
Location(s) Irwindale, California
Inaugurated 1962
Attendance 250,000 (average)
Stages 11

The Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Southern California (RPFS), is the first, original modern Renaissance faire; it opened in 1963 and has run yearly since that time.[1] Presently owned by Renaissance Entertainment Productions (REP), it is a commercial re-enactment of a 1580s[2] market faire at Port Deptford,[3] a water front town located in Elizabethan England. The fair is generally open from the first weekend in April through the weekend before Memorial Day.


Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Southern California (RPFS) began in tandem with the Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Northern California (RPFN) in 1963 in the Spring and Fall respectively by Ron Patterson and Phyllis Patterson and the non-profit organization Living History Center (LHC)[4] as the first renaissance faire in America. RPFS was first staged at Agoura Hills, moved to the Glen Helen Regional Park in Devore, California, surrounding most of the lake, moved to the opposite shore, and most recently, has been moved to the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area in Irwindale, California. RPFS has also experienced new ownership starting with LHC (1963), then to Renaissance Entertainment Corp (REC)(1993), a for-profit corporation, and finally to Renaissance Entertainment Productions (REP), also a for-profit corporation. Some believe the faire has, under the new management, become more family oriented.[4][5]


RPFS's actors portray the dress found in the Elizabethan era, or more precisely during the reign of Elizabeth I, 1558-1603. All actors' costumes go through a rigorous approval process ensuring authenticity. Generally there are five types: Yeoman Class, Merchant Class, Gentry, Nobility, and Military. There are also other cultures represented such as the Scots, Italians, Germans, Spaniards and various Arab cultures, as well as various other performance groups such as mongers, Puritans, adventurers and inventors. These are organized into guilds. Visitors, commonly known as patrons, are encouraged to dress up as well but Elizabethan "garb" is optional.[6]

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Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Sneed, Richard J. (1987). The Faire: Photographs and History of the Renaissance Pleasure Faire from 1963 onwards. Santa Cruz, CA: The Good Book Press. OCLC 26491008. 
  2. ^ "REC California Faire Specifics". Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  3. ^ "Entertainment 2013". Archived from the original on 2013-05-17. Retrieved 2013-05-13. 
  4. ^ a b "RPFI California Faire History". Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  5. ^ Talavera, E. (2007-05-16). "Renaissance Pleasure Faire is for young and old". Lifestyles. El Paisano. Whittier, CA: Rio Hondo College. Archived from the original on 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  6. ^ Mills, Michelle J. (2008-03-29). "Come play at the Faire". Pasadena Star-News. Archived from the original on 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 

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