During its past appearances in Folsom over the last 30 years, the Folsom Renaissance Faire has always been a popular attraction and known to draw a crowd into Folsom City Lions Park. This year was no exception to that as the two-day event sold out on both Saturday and Sunday to the tune of some 10,000 visitors over the two day run.

Advertisement

Once they worked their way through the long line that snaked its way all the way out to Natoma Street at times, visitors entered the gates of Lions Park and were transformed back in time as the grounds were transformed to replicate a bustling village from Shakespeare’s England. 

The event featured more than 40 guilds, presenting interactive history lessons to patrons of all ages through a variety of different scenes, stages and attractions. Guests learned how early century cooking was accomplished in a number of demonstrations. Youngsters enjoyed the craft of making their own archery bows, leather attire and accessories.

Advertisement

Additional lessons offered were those in the design of early century apparall and armor and how it was produced, military maneuvers, various games to play, theater and plenty of toasting of beverages among the adults, many of which came dressed for the occasion to mix and mingle with the stars of this traveling event that visits multiple cities throughout the year.

Advertisement

On top of ticket holders, the grounds were home to some 800 talented performers entertaining them, all costumed accordingly to their role in the replicated era and boasting plenty of passion and personality with each role they played.

Walking through the event, one could not miss any of the action as something is happening on each and every corner in the makeshift village that took visitors back in time to witness Queen Elizabeth’s progress and Shakespeare’s development of a new play. While the storyline might seem dramatic and complex, it always boasts plenty of satire and smiles within it.

Photography by Bill Sullivan. See all event photos by clicking here.

Advertisement

Jousting on horseback was a big attraction in the arena. Riders travel from all over the country to compete in this segment of the Renaissance Faire regardless of where it is set up. Some often come from as far as Europe, Canada and many from nearby who practice the unique sport.  In addition to the many spectacles to enjoy, food vendors dished out eats that fit the period as well. At this festival, you won’t find much in the way of cotton candy and corn dogs. Instead, you will find plenty of grilled meats, giant turkey legs, meat pies and of course, good brew for the adults.

The Folsom event is put on by Renaissance Productions, a family0owned company that has been bringing themed events to various communities for over three decades. The traveling team has experience with both short- and long-run events and in all aspects of event production. They produce shows like the one in Folsom at various cities in NorCal during the late summer and early fall as well as provide actors to production houses and other projects throughout the year.

Advertisement

In addition to the chivalry in motion this weekend, the event also hosted a book sale by the Friends of the Folsom Library. The park pavilion was filled with tables of books all for bargain prices and being swept up by eager readers. The event also brings a great deal of tourism and business to the area as attendees patronize local shops and eateries as they pay their visit.

Bill Sullivan
Author: Bill Sullivan