Coming July 21 & 22, 2018
10 am – 6 pm – Laguna Lake Park, San Luis Obispo
Get ready to step into the year 1585 when Queen Elizabeth I was England’s magnificent monarch. This is the age of legendary characters like William Shakespeare, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Francis Drake and a host of famous Dukes, Earls, Lords, and Ladies, and you’ll see them all here in all their finery. Remember to remove your hat as Her Majesty parades the streets with her stunning Royal Court. They are here for your entertainment. (Tip: don’t be shy about taking their photo. They may look imposing but they have spent untold hours developing their character and clothing and will be happy to pose for you.)
Relax on a shady hay bale and watch riotous stage plays and hilarious comedy acts on four stages throughout the village. You’ll see authentic Elizabethan dancing, plays, singing, a falconry show, magic, juggling and crazy buffoonery. Throughout the village, you’ll see living history demonstrations. The entertainment is amazing and continuous throughout the day. It doesn’t just happen on the stages, it is in the streets and throughout the village at every turn.
Be amazed at the Tournament of Joust. The Knights of Mayhem gained stardom as they starred in their own show featured on the National Geographic Channel, the Netflix series White Rabbit Project and Nickelodeon’s Jagger Eaton’s Mega Life. The Knights of Mayhem have jousted and competed in thousands of shows, events, and competitions and perform around the world. Knights of Mayhem have taken the heavy armor, full contact jousting from being seen predominately at renaissance fairs into stadiums and arenas. These jousts are not a reenactment; this is the real thing. This is an extreme pro sport in the Professional Jousting League.
Watch peasants, soldiers, merchants and royalty strolling about the village while you enjoy your feast. They, too, are enjoying this summer marketplace just as you are. Don’t be surprised when they greet you in the Queen’s tongue – just say “Good Day” in return. You’ll find yourself slipping into Elizabethan in no time.
You’ll be delighted by over 50 of the finest craftsmen selling unique arts, crafts, and sundry goods. From hand-thrown pottery to drinking vessels, there is something for every taste and budget. Gentlemen always enjoy shopping from the sword and leather merchants, while ladies can’t resist the array of fine clothing and jewelry. You can even have your hair braided into the most beautiful designs and get a henna tattoo. You’re sure to find a special gift for yourself and someone else.
Sunday is Pirate Day Both days will transport you back to the 16th century, in the age of Queen Elizabeth and famous characters like Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh, and other seagoing legends. Both days are set in the reign of Queen Elizabeth in England, but on Sunday the emphasis shifts to pirates and vendors will bring out pirate wares and dress as pirates. Both days are a magical experience.
There is something for all ages. We didn’t forget the youngsters, who will enjoy face painting, storytelling, a magic show and games just for them. Of course, they love the joust.
Dress them up for the very popular children’s costume contest where everyone gets something and the winners take away top prizes.
We even have a pirate ship docked for your pleasure. Kids and adults can board and tour the ship. It’s a great photo opportunity.
At Buccaneer Boot Camp kids get balloon swords and learn basic sword work so they can challenge our pirate crew in a sword fight safely and accurately with their cutlass balloons. While in training we also teach them various sailor and pirate terminology so they can sound like an outstanding Pirate! It is included in the price of admission, and kids under 6 years old get in free.
There’s also a free Pirate’s Treasure Hunt for kids on Sunday. Every child will receive a Booty Bag to collect their treasures in and keep. There is no cost to participate and the booty is something they’ll treasure (pun intended) for years.
Treat your taste buds to a bounty of delicious foods. With all this excitement you are sure to be hungry. You can enjoy treats such as BBQ Beef Stick • Chicken Stick • Dragon Dog • Ice Cream • Italian Ice • Meat Pies • Pan Fried Rice & Noodles • Polish Dog • Pretzels • Shrimp Stick • Vegetarian Roll • Italian Pies, salads and more. Of course, there are those famous gigantic fire-roasted turkey legs that people love to wave about. Enjoy the Queen’s finest ales, beer, wine and honey mead while being entertained by musicians, rogues, and dancers.
Costumes Welcome But Are Not Required
Don’t think that you have to wear a costume to attend the festival. This is not true! Only the participants putting on and participating in the festival are required to wear costumes (we call it “garb”). You may come as you wish.
However, you are more than welcome to come in a full costume, or perhaps a woman might simply wear a peasant blouse or skirt, or a hair wreath or straw hat that makes you feel more a part of the fantasy. Check out Goodwill for some inexpensive costume pieces. There are plenty of vendors in the festival who have everything you might wish to purchase, from hats, shirts, bodices, and breeches to handmade boots and shoes, drinking vessels, and anything else needed to become an Elizabethan at any level from peasant to royalty. Look through the photos on this website for some ideas. Here is a collage of photos from past festivals.
Purchase an inexpensive, ready-made costume here.
If you do want to put together a costume, we highly recommend Elizabethan Costuming For The Years 1550-1580 as your guide (it’s also a good shopping guide). It is the best costuming book available for creating a Renaissance costume. You can order it by clicking here.