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Good morrow, lords and ladies


The Des Moines Renaissance Faire will take place Sept. 5-20 at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park.

The Des Moines Renaissance Faire will take place Sept. 5-20 at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park.

Hear ye, hear ye! Your attention, please. The Iowa State Fair may be the largest in the state, but if you’re tired of being a spectator, get in on the action at a Renaissance Faire. Lords and ladies are encouraged to come out and take part in the merry-making revelry in September at the Sleepy Hollow Sports Park.

Experience the “Age of Enlightenment” at the Des Moines Renaissance Faire. Upon entering the gates, you will be transported back in time to an era when royalty ruled, knights jousted and the arts came alive. The excitement begins Labor Day weekend and extends through the next two weekends in September.

While ball sports of the modern day won’t be found at the faire, there is still plenty of action to catch or participate in, depending on how adventurous you’re feeling.

“There are all sorts of tournaments to test your skill,” said Greg Schmidt, festival producer. “Along with the public tournaments for knife throwing and archery, festivalgoers can check out axe-tossing, queens darts, competitive foil fencing and equestrian jousting.

Prep Iowa

“My favorite event is the jousting competition put on by Joust Evolution. Not only do they do the traditional lance passes, but they have added highly skilled fire stunts and comedic theater.”

Open the first three weekends in September, there’s no reason for you not to make it out and experience the entertainment of centuries past. And this year boasts a whole assortment of new food and things to try at the Renaissance Faire.

“Comedy Hamlet” is a nationally touring Shakespeare show by Jeff McLane, a Hollywood-based writer/producer who is developing a television sitcom. Pog-Mo-Thon, the popular Celtic band from Lincoln, Nebraska, will be on hand to cause a little minstrel mayhem. And Grendle, the life-sized strolling fantasy character designed and operated by Des Moines puppeteer Arthur Smith, shouldn’t be missed.

While many breeds might not have existed during the Renaissance, dogs and cats are welcome at the Des Moines Renaissance Faire. Pet owners are simply required to look after their animal as they would at any other public event (e.g., cleaning up after them, proof of shots, under control, etc.) with a zero tolerance regarding aggressive behavior.

With unique costumes, actors and festivalgoers bring the Middle Ages back to life and offer plenty of excitement to attract people of all ages. Bring a purse full of coin, for these merchants offer the finest in jewelry, weaponry, leather goods, candles, clothing, children’s items, chocolates, pottery and more.

If you’ve never experienced Sleepy Hollow’s Festival Park, this is your last opportunity for the Des Moines Renaissance Faire LLC. After 10 years, its lease is up.

“Sleepy Hollow is going to try to run its own events in 2016,” Schmidt said. “So, we’ll take the official Des Moines Renaissance Faire LLC to the west side (Waterworks Park) and probably add a spring weekend, plus do at least two of our traditional September weekends.”

Visit for complete details. CV

Located at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, south
of the state fairgrounds at 4051 Dean Ave.
Sept. 5-7 – Knights & Royals
Sept. 12-13 – Highlanders & Lucky Lasses
Sept. 19-20 – Pirates & Wenches
10 a.m. to 6 p.m., rain or shine
Younger than 5 — FREE
Ages 5-12 — $8
Adult One-Day Pass — $16
Adult Two-Day Pass — $25 (Good for
admission on any two days of the festival.)
7-Day Season Pass — $40
Parking — $1 per vehicle.


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