This fall, travel back in time to a thriving Renaissance village under the rule of Queen Elizabeth I! The Northern California Renaissance Faire is a 21-acre wonderland located at Casa de Fruta in Hollister, where weekends from September 14 through October 20, all are welcome to enjoy the festivities. With live music, themed celebrations, hearty food, and a thriving marketplace of unique handcrafted goods, this is one unforgettable experience you won’t want to miss!
Travelers to the Renaissance Faire are welcome to arrive in contemporary garb, but it’s far more fun to don a costume (easy to rent or buy at the Faire) and immerse yourself into the bustling village of Willingtown. Over 600 actors — some roaming the streets, others putting on a show on one of the nine performance stages — make Willingtown truly come to life. Create your own character and join in! Whether you’re a peasant, knight, princess, pirate, or even superhero, all characters are encouraged at the Faire.
NorCal Ren Faire is renowned for its legendary full-contact joust, which takes place each day in the World Tournament of Champions Arena. Valorous knights riding noble steeds run at each other full-speed, lances up and aimed at their opponent’s shield until the inevitable clash, often shattering the lances into pieces. Want to try some specialty sports yourself? You can try your luck at pistol bows, axe throwing, and fencing, which are just a few of many games and activities offered at the Faire!
Improv troupes, comedy acts, Shakespearean dramas, dancing, fire-eating and more also await visitors to the Faire, so get ready to laugh the day away and watch in awe as these incredible performers captivate the crowds. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, be sure to head to the Faire’s food court. While there will always be faire favorites available — like massive turkey legs, craft beers, and hearty meat pies — you might be surprised to find more diverse fare as well, like gyros, oyster shooters, gelato, and roasted quail.
Be sure to browse the marketplace of over 100 specialty vendors selling artisanal goods of all kinds, like ceramics, clothing, gourmet teas, swords, instruments, perfumes and more. And don’t forget that each weekend, the Renaissance Faire features a special theme to make dressing up more fun! This year, be sure to mark your calendars for the final weekend (October 19 & 20), which is the Faire’s Halloween Fantasy celebration, complete with trick-or-treating and sorceresses casting spooky spells upon the townsfolk. Plus, be sure to stay late every Saturday night to rock out to live bands at 6pm!
The Ren Faire has something for everyone, and kids 12 and under are always free, so gather your family and friends this Fall and take the Faire by storm! We’ll see you in Willingtown!
- Cost: $28 at the gate; children 12 and under are FREE!
- Opening weekend tickets are $18 when purchased online! (Sept 14 & Sept 15 only!)
- Weekend pass (Saturday and Sunday, same weekend): $40
- A ‘Fairever’ pass (allows unlimited access all 12 days in 2019): $230
For more information and tickets, visit www.norcalrenfaire.com
Photos courtesy of NorCalRenFaire