Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Southern California

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Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Southern California
Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Southern California.jpg
Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Southern California, April 2011
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 modern Renaissance faire to occur in America. It opened in the spring of 1963 and has been an annual event since then.[1] Presently owned by Renaissance Entertainment Productions (REP), it is a commercial reenactment of a 1580s[2] market faire at Port Deptford,[3] a waterfront town in Elizabethan England. The Faire is generally open from the first weekend of April through the weekend before Memorial Day.


Created by Ron Patterson and Phyllis Patterson and the nonprofit organization Living History Center (LHC),[4] the first Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Southern California (RPFS) was first staged at Agoura Hills in the spring of 1963. The first Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Northern California (RPFN) occurred in the fall of 1967.

In 1989, RPFS was moved to the Glen Helen Regional Park in Devore, California; then to its present location, the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area in Irwindale, California. In 1999, RPFN was moved to the Nut Tree in Vacaville, California and later was relocated again to Casa de Fruta in the Hollister/Gilroy area south of San Jose.

In 1993 RPFS was purchased by Renaissance Entertainment Corp (REC), a for-profit corporation; and later by its current owners, Renaissance Entertainment Productions (REP) (also a for-profit corporation), under whom the Faire has become more family-oriented.[4][5]


The costumes worn by RPFS's actors are styled after those of the period of Elizabeth I (1558-1603) and must pass a rigorous approval process ensuring their authenticity. There are five general classes of attire: Yeoman, Merchant, Gentry, Nobility and Military. Other cultures represented include Scots, Italians, Germans, Spaniards, and various Arabian cultures. There are also performance groups such as mongers, Puritans, adventurers and inventors, which are organized into guilds. Visitors, commonly known as patrons, are encouraged to wear Renaissance-inspired costumes, but are not required to adhere to the Elizabethan period.[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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