BenitoLink, San Benito County news, Renaissance Faire

I’ve known about the Renaissance Faire for years and every year tell myself “this year I’m definitely going” but somehow it never happened, until this year. For an experience that’s out of this world, or at least out of this century, the Renaissance Faire is a must-do local event.  My first impression of the twenty five dollar entry fee (children 12 and under are free), was that it seemed a little pricey, but you definitely get your money’s worth.

For an authentic old world experience, arrive in costume or make your first stop the costume rental tent. Here, you can channel your alter-ego starting at about forty for adults and twenty for kids. Maidens in the dressing room even help the ladies “scoop and lift and lace” themselves into an authentic corseted bust, and if your guy has always wanted to try a kilt, here’s his chance. I was happy to see a large portion of people in attendance were dressed up in some way, from pirates and knights to bar maids you’ll see it all.

Strolling along, the sheer size of the event is one of the first things I noticed, each turn revealed more stages, performers, shops and entertainment options.  Encompassing 12 acres and set amongst Casa De Fruta’s mature trees; dirt pathways and cloth tents reinforce the medieval atmosphere.  The quality of the performers is a pleasant surprise, and they walk along the street jovially interacting with the crowd and speaking Old English.  You’ll hear lots of yelling “Huzzah!” which apparently means “yeah!”

I was delighted to find the number of unique experiences you could enjoy at the Renaissance Faire, such as fencing lessons and throwing a javelin. You can even have your hair braided to complete your medieval style.  The dutch double, is one of the most popular braids and will set you back twenty one dollars.  There is an expansive children’s area that offers uncommon crafts and activities such as leather crafting. 

Along with familiar favorites, the medieval food court also offers unique fare. Try a porkchop on a stick, meat pies and of course, the quintessential turkey leg. While it’s true, you can spend a hefty pence having a great time at the renaissance faire, it’s a quality event with a lot of entertainment included with entry. Impressive musicians on stage and dancing through the streets, exhuberant story telling stages and comedy shows and of course the jousting performances. Along the streets, begrudging wenches teach you medieval washing skills with an eager dose of sarcasm and comedic maidens will instruct you on spinning wool.  Word has it, that if you come dressed, they are more likely to interact with you. The large variety of quality handmade goods available was also notable including leatherwork, ceramic, baskets and swords.

My recommendation, is if you’re taking the kids, hit the gate at opening time, which is 10am and enjoy the shows, crafts, food and games. Otherwise grab a group of adults, arrive in the afternoon, enjoy some ale and stay until closing when the Celtic rock band starts once the faire closes at 7pm. Either way it’s an impressive event you can enjoy right here in our own backyard. The Renaissance Faire continues through October 13th and this weekend, October 5-6th is military appreciation weekend. Present your military or veteran’s id and receive two tickets for thirty five dollars.