Renaissance Festival Returns To San Luis Obispo, July 16 & 17
San Luis Obispo, California

The Central Coast Renaissance Festival returns to San Luis Obispo’s Laguna Lake Park on July 16th and 17th with over 500 costumed entertainers and four stages of live entertainment.

This marks the 32nd annual event for History Revisited, the local non-profit organization that produces the festival. Entertainment director Rick Smith of Cambria says that there are over 25 acts performing, including plays, comedy skits, juggling, singing, music, dance shows, storytelling, Shakespeare, acrobatics, a parrot act, and free flying falconry. “It is going to be a very musical festival this year,” Smith says. “We have half a dozen music acts along with some hilarious stage shows. We’re blessed with an even greater abundance of professional talent this year.”

“Each year we strive to do something different and more exciting than the last,” Smith continues. “This year we’re making Sunday ‘Pirate Day,’ and we’ll have a pirate ship where kids can come aboard and learn swashbuckling with balloon swords.” He adds, “We also have pony rides, a juggling school, fencing lessons, archery and a magic show just for kids.” Smith says there is also a daily costume contest for children.

Laguna Lake Park is a beautiful site between Cerro San Luis Obispo (Madonna Mountain) and Laguna Lake. The enchanting forest of pine and eucalyptus trees at the far end of the park is the setting for the village of Tilbury. Festival organizers will spend the week before the festival turning the forest into a village, complete with soaring watch towers, village walls, four stages, banners, shields and buildings to emulate a village in Renaissance England. Public parking this year is in front of the village, inside Laguna Lake Park.

Due to the drought, Laguna Lake was dry last summer, Smith explains. “Now, thank goodness, it is full of water again and we’re going to imagine that it is the English Channel. The scenario during faire is anticipation of the coming assault by the ill-fated Spanish Armada. Our Queen Elizabeth will be there to rouse her troops to repel the invasion with the famous Tilbury speech. We have German Mercenaries and English soldiers who will make this a stunning spectacle,” he says.

Vendor coordinator, Sherry Scott of Grover Beach, says that there will be a variety of food and beverage vendors with many appetizing food options, along with beer, ale, wine and mead. “We’ll have over 60 vendors offering costumes, crafts and artwork.” She explains that shopping at the festival will be a unique experience, as the vendors are selling wares that could have existed in England in the late 1500’s. While costumes are not required of festival guests, she explains, should they wish to get into the spirit, there are vendors who can help them with everything from period hats to shoes and anything in between. “Participants wanting to be pampered can get their hair braided or get a henna tattoo. If they’re inspired by the Queen’s call to arms, they can purchase leather goods, armor, or swords, or if they’re just looking to wet their whistle in historical fashion, tankards and goblets are for sale as well. There’s really something for everyone.”

The festival opens at 10 AM each day with a parade and ends at 6 PM with another parade. More information is available at

For more information contact promotions director Rick Smith at or 805-927-0199.

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