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Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Southern California

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The Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Southern California (RPFS) is a Renaissance faire that takes place in Irwindale, California. 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 era England. The Faire is generally open from the first weekend of April through the weekend before Memorial Day.

Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Southern California
Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Southern California.jpg
Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Southern California, April 2011
GenreRenaissance faire
DatesApril - May
Location(s)Irwindale, California
Attendance250,000 (average)


Created by Ron Patterson and Phyllis Patterson, the radio station KPFK, [4] and the nonprofit organization Living History Center (LHC),[5] 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; and finally in 2005 to its present location, the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area in Irwindale, California.[6]

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.[5][7]


The costumes worn by official RPFS's actors are styled after those of the period of Elizabeth I of England (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 Scottish/Irish Highlanders, Germanic Landsknechts, Italians, Spaniards, and various Arabian cultures. There are also performance groups such as mongers, Puritans, adventurers and inventors, which are organized into guilds. Patrons are encouraged to wear Renaissance-inspired costumes, but are not required to adhere to the Elizabethan period. They are, also, welcomed to participate by dressing up to join the fun on various themed weekends. (I.e. RenCon, Pirates, Heroes & Villains, etc...)[8] Recent themed weekends include categories such as "time traveler weekend" which suggest patrons attend in costumery from any time period and any location in the world. While this broadens the scope of potential patron interest, it may detract from the Elizabethan tone of the setting.[9]

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Slotnik, Daniel E. (11 June 2014). "Phyllis Patterson, who revived the 16th century, dies at 82". The New York Times.
  • Williams, Ken (1992-06-04). "Weekends of yore: Renaissance Pleasure Faire celebrates the days and knights of merry olde England". Los Angeles Times.
  • Stewart, Zan (1987-04-19). "Hear ye, hear ye: 'tis faire time". Los Angeles Times.
  • Fox, Margalit (2011-01-30). "Ron Patterson, renaissance (fair) man, dies at 80". The New York Times.


  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. ^ "Fairest Of the Faire".
  5. ^ a b "RPFI California Faire History". Retrieved 2008-05-10.
  6. ^
  7. ^ 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. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Jamie Lee Curtis Taete (13 June 2012). "What the Fuck Is a Renaissance Faire?". Vice.

External linksEdit