Reminiscent of a town square in Elizabethan England, thousands dressed in period wear attended the Folsom Renaissance Faire on Oct. 19-20.
Guests to the fair entered a guarded gate leading into the 16th-century town of Newcastle upon Tyne. Visitors were welcomed at the gates with “Good morrow” greetings, and performers entertained all who arrived.
Renaissance Productions presented the 21st annual Folsom Renaissance Faire at Folsom City Lion’s Park. An Elizabethan marketplace look and feel gave patrons the opportunity to shop for Renaissance clothing, jewelry, masks, arts, crafts and much more.
The family-friendly event included dancing and many games and hands-on activities for children. Religious services, Shakespeare-style plays, a children’s court and other activities kept family members entertained throughout the weekend.
Several performers, as they entertained the audience, noted that they’re not paid for performing at the fair and asked for donations as a means of support. Many in the audience were more than willing to donate to the marvelous entertainers.
Four stages presented awe-inspiring events, comedy shows, plays based on tales and other entertainment.
Some of the most popular shows took place at the Dan Russell Rodeo Arena, renamed the Jousting Arena for the Renaissance Faire. The Jousting Arena hosted black-powder military demonstrations, as well as military formations with participants wearing uniforms of the day.
The Imperial Knights also performed various battle techniques of the Renaissance. These performances included full-contact action with knights fighting with swords on foot and horse. Other weapons and games kept the audience cheering throughout.
Knights fought for green or black teams, and the audience was divided in half with each side cheering for one of the knights. As each knight passed by the crowd, they were either cheered or booed.
Part of the Imperial Knights competition included full-armor jousting and was greatly popular with the audience.
One of the most impressive things about the Imperial Knights’ performances was that the beautiful horses used were all rescue horses. After each show, children got the chance to ride the horses for a donation that would go to the care and feeding of the majestic animals.
Lady Andrea Montgomery also showcased horse-training skills.
Other stages entertained audiences with intriguing performances, with some including audience participation.
The Renaissance-town feel also included many game areas for guests of all ages. Instructional displays contained artisans explaining wardrobe of the day and descriptions of items worn during the renaissance. Military wear and fight exhibitions were also part of the village demonstrations.
The food-and-drink areas of the fair were just as popular as the exhibitions, and at certain times long lines had to be endured. The wait, however, was worth it, as visitors enjoyed scrumptious food-and-drink selections, including the popular giant turkey legs.
There was so much to see and do as guests were immersed in history, fashion and lifestyle of the Renaissance.
The Folsom Renaissance Faire appeared to be a successful event. The warm weather and venue attracted a weekend audience that exceeded the expectation of around 5,000. The fair’s Facebook page noted the official attendance was 6,330.