Central Coast Renaissance Festival Entertainment happens on 2 stages, 2 smaller theaters, and in the streets throughout the village. Think of the entire festival site as one big stage. As you walk about you are surrounded by hundreds of costumed participants who will greet you in the manner of the day, such as “Good Morrow, Fine Sir,” or “Grant Thee Good Day.” Spontaneous theatrics will appear at any time. Even the vendors will greet you with with a hearty, “Good Day and Well Met” as you pass by. It’s all in good fun and part of a grand experience.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and Her Royal Court – There aren’t words enough to describe this stunning show. Queen Elizabeth is on her summer progress about England. She is accompanied by her many Lords, Ladies, household servants and the Royal Guards. This is truly a sight to behold. They not only look good but throughout the day they perform dances and display their many talents to entertain Her Majesty. Don’t be shy about taking photos – they are quite happy to accommodate.
Out of Kontrol – Out Of Kontrol is an improv comedic juggling and stunt show involving audience participation, a bit of slap stick and a lot luck. 4 skilled performers showing off for the audience with dangerous stunts and a lot of laughs at personal expense. Juggling, fire eating, acrobatics and much more. Definitely a highlight of the day.
The Merry Wives of Windsor – Ale Wives singing about their favorite subjects: Men and Beer. Naughty where and when appropriate and otherwise, family friendly, with a touch of the bawdy. These talented ladies have been at the festival in the past and are a top favorite.
The Poxy Boggards – This ribald group presents a mix of tight harmonies, rocking traditional folk instrumentation and an irreverent sense of humor and lack of decorum. Known as the Drinking Group With a Singing Problem, the Boggards have played at numerous venues throughout Southern California, including the House of Blues in Anaheim, the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, and the Musicians Institute in Hollywood. At the 2006 Just Plain Folks Music Awards, they received Best Celtic Album for Liver Let Die and Live Act of the Year for their 2004 performance at the awards show.
Barleycorn Country Dancers – Whether you catch them in a stage show or dancing in the street, the Barleycorn Country Dancers are a perennial favorite in our village. Enjoy seeing authentic Renaissance dances and if the spirit moves you – join in!
The Story Wrens – Tight vocal harmonies on traditional English folk and silly sea songs, accompanied by
mandolins, mountain dulcimers, bass, fiddle, whistles and Celtic Harp. We bring a style that is both lively and pretty to these wonderful story songs, which will fit beautifully with the ambiance of the beautiful new location at Laguna Lake Park.
Fowl Tales – Ahoy! Bob Bartley bringS you the only Pirate Parrot Show in California! Demonstrating a lifetime of training and friendship, Bob and Gypsy will amaze the crowd with piratical hilarity!
The Bard’s Cloak of Tales – Story-telling is alive and well! Hear astounding tales of old from one of the festival’s favorites. Michael Todd Gallowglas spins fascinating stories for all ages. See him at the Rose Theater and pick up a few of his books while you are there. It has been said of him, “Mr. Michael Todd Gallowglas, is probably the most entertaining storyteller you will ever have the pleasure of seeing and hearing. He is extremely animated and the excitement, fun, and humor he infuses into his performance will have you on the edge of your seat.”
Ye Olde Tale of Good King Arthur -Arthur and his trusty knight, Lancelot, must rescue fair Gwenivere from the clutches of the Evil Mordred in this silly little rhyming play.
Central Coast Renaissance Festival Entertainment is a wonderful experience all day long.
Full Circle Falconry – Falconry is an art. It requires long hours, constant devotion, finesse, subtlety and skill. The falconer must train a bird of prey to fly free, hunt for a human being and then accept a return to captivity. In this show Falcon trainer Kenny Elvin will demonstrate this ancient art with his birds. This is pure poetry in motion and a rare sight.
Double Crown Dancers – Belly Dancing and entertaining as well as teaching of various dance styles in the world. Because we traveled as ambassadors to England we traveled the world and brought our dancers, guards and all necessary personnel with us. A we traveled to other countries to encourage them to fight for England against Spain.
Danse Macabre – This group recreates the Danse Macabre parades of medieval and renaissance Europe; the main message is that all must die, no matter what their station, so everyone should lead a good life and be prepared to die.
They parade throughout the faire twice each day. Parades consist of musicians playing renaissance music on recreated period instruments, dancers, and at least one banner carrier. All paraders are in mask and either skeleton costume or all (nearly) black costume.
Rising Phoenix Morris Dancers – Rising Phoenix Morris performs traditional dances derived from the Cotswold farming regions of England. According to 17th century written records, it is believed these dances date back to at least the Renaissance. English Morris Dancing is a high-energy, exuberant dance form characterized by waving hankies and sticks clacking together, sometimes even flying from hand to hand.
New Queen’s Ha’Penny Consort – An ensemble of musicians who play Renaissance Music in support of the Queen and the activities of her Court.
Knights of Assembled Men of God (AMOG) – Weaponry demonstrations, ax throwing, archery demos, and demonstration of sword training. The public can play balance beam, chicken kicken, castles, shut the box, pirate punching and more.
Countryside Gypsies – They travel from village to village using their skills and talents to survive in England, seeking work on farms, with skilled craftspeople in the villages and outlying areas. Some work the streets by entertaining the towns people with our music, dance, story telling, juggling, magic tricks and more.
Fortune’s Folly – We teach and play period games (from the 1500’s and earlier) with guests from faire opening to close. We appeal to all ages, having over 20 period games for all to play. We have several games kids as young as four can understand and play. All of our games only take five minutes or less of instruction, then the guests can play as long as they like.
Her Majesty’s Minstrels – A trio of singers/actors performing period and humorous songs and sketches. Instrumentation at this time is Bodhran and bones. One of our current centerpieces is an Elizebethan version of ‘Who’s On First.’
Constables of The Shire – The Constables of the Shire is a street improv group that recreates the citizen-police of Shakespeare. We base ourselves loosely (very) on the Constable humor as found in our frequent use of malapropism, a technique Shakespeare would use again in Elbow from Measure for Measure, and poking fun at the amateur police forces of his day, in which respectable citizens spent a fixed number of nights per year fulfilling an obligation to protect the public peace, a job for which they were, by and large, unqualified. We strive to uphold this tradition.
Birds of A Feather – A band of women street singers performing madrigals and other period songs a capella. They wander the streets and you may find them at any corner of the market square.
Hounds Haven Guild – What village would be complete without a ragtag assortment of characters like these. They set up an awesome tableau theater and are more than happy to welcome visitors to their company. There are many other guilds who help to make the village come to life, such as The Guild of Santa Maria & The Guild of San Lorenzo, shown below.
Alexis Rosinsky’s Shakespeare – See 13 year-old Alexis Rosinsky give a one person celebration of Shakespeare’s best loved and rare monologues with lively and enlightening discussion about the characters portrayed, including Lady Macbeth and Joan La Pucelle from Henry VI as well as Constance from King John, Caliban from The Tempest, Ophelia from Hamlet, Portia from The Merchant of Venice, Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing and many others. This very young actress has a beautiful gift for bringing life to Shakespeare’s characters in an unexpected way. She is able to present elements that will enlighten and intrigue her audience.
Oakwinds Ensemble – 10 players entertain guests with sopranino to bass recorders, cello, drum and tambourine.
House of Tudor – This middle class English guild demonstrates trades and crafts, spinning, weaving, ruff making, scale mail, historical make-up and beauty, plus period games such a bowles, card games, dice etc.
Sadlers Guild – This group of upper class folk sing, dance, greet and interact with our guests.
The Guilds of St. Barbara’s & St. Genesius – This colorful group instructs guests on the weaponry and armaments on the time, period games, crafts and renaissance dance. They have a “small scale” trebuchet which fires a 2.5 pound cabbage ~110 feet. Cole slaw anyone?
Shadow Walkers – This encampment is called the Belladonna Inn. They portray a period merchant class inn and gaming hall. In character they teach patrons of all ages how to play an array of period games including cathedral, shove a ha penny, nine-man’s morace, and many others. They also perform different street bits throughout the day to entertain the patrons.
Dressing The Queen – Have you ever wondered how those nobles got dressed? If you were a Lady it took a small army of attendants to get you dressed and all cinched up. Gentlemen also had to have servants help then get into their finery. Just getting dressed was a real task. Our very own Queen Elizabeth and her Ladies in Waiting will show you how it’s done. Check the schedule on your program (it’ll probably be around 11:30). This isn’t a peep show, it is all G Rated.
Oh, and there’s a Costume Contest For Kids, held twice daily, with prizes. Every entry gets a really nice keepsake gift just for entering, so there are no losers. You can learn more about that here.
This is just a small sample of the many things to do and see. In addition to the stage shows, the dancing and singing, there are living history displays everywhere.
There are a few things you will pay extra for such as the Shetland Pony Rides, Archery, and certain Games.
This is a family friendly event. Brings the entire family and enjoy a very unique summer festival. There is no smoking on the festival site.
Be sure to bring a camera because this is a spectacle unlike anything you’ve seen, and you want to share the photos with other.