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August 2, 2011 > A Renaissance Faire

A Renaissance Faire

Guadalupe River Park transforms into Tudor England

Submitted By Heather Vancil-Becker
Photos By courtesy of Renaissance Productions

Horseback-riding knights aren't just the stuff of fairy tales. August 6th and 7th, the first annual San Jose Renaissance Faire will showcase the lifestyle and culture of Tudor England in a two-day festival in Downtown San Jose, next to HP Pavilion.

Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Guadalupe River Park, the festival is a chance for everyone - from the Shakespearean scholar to the casual observer - to take a step back in history. Non-stop entertainment will be provided on the streets by hundreds of colorfully costumed performers.

The faire will feature three stages of continuous entertainment, Queen Elizabeth's court, expertly staged battle scenes and theatrical performances, lively crafts marketplace, storytelling for children (and adults), belly dancers, musicians, archery and much more. There will be merchants selling a wide array of arts and craft including one of a kind jewelry items, woodcrafts, artwork, ceramics, clothing, hats and accessories and historic weapons.

Weekend highlights include a professional jousting and acting troupe that will entertain the public with its whimsical theatrics, equestrian skills and jousting proficiency. The knights will competitions compete in duels on horseback twice daily. Contests will include spear throwing, ring spearing and cabbage cutting. And then, onlookers will be astounded by the action of the hard-hitting lance-splitting jousting. Hundreds of pounds of man, horse and metal collide and do battle right before your eyes. It is almost guaranteed that a scuffle will break out between the battling knights, and just as surely the Queen will restore order.

Meet the likes of royals and rebels, pirates and peasants, ministers and merchants! Artisans and crafters will give demonstrations and lectures throughout each day on blacksmithing, weaving, spinning, bow-making, chainmail creating, and much more. Entertainment abounds, courtesy of nationally touring stage acts, musicians, singers, and more.

Savory food and drink will satisfy your hunger and thirst. Best of shopping will be available at the shire. Shops will provide a bevy of handmade goods to purchase-from jewelry, pottery, clothing, and leather goods to swords, toys, and even lingerie. There is something for everyone at this year's San Jose Renaissance Faire!

"We're proud to bring this terrific Renaissance Faire to San Jose Community. Guadalupe River Park is a beautiful location, perfect for the faire, a portal where visitors can escape the modern world, and enter a kingdom of a very different era." said Marti Miernik, co-producer of San Jose Renaissance Faire and co founder of Renaissance Productions. "Renaissance faire enlightens, it entertains. We create an atmosphere for patrons to lose themselves in the magical experience, thus escaping the modern world, even if just for a short while."

Visitors need not dress the part or be fluent in the Queen's English, but period costumes always add to the magic and make it more fun to play.

Gates will open at 10 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. on Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday. The event is produced by Renaissance Productions, producers of Ardenwood Shakespeare Festival coming to Fremont September 10, 2011. The cost of admission is $17 for adults, $12 for seniors, and children ages 6-12. Children under six are free.

For more information, and directions to the grounds, visit

Renaissance Faire
Saturday, August 6 - Sunday, August 7
10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (closes at 5 p.m. on Sunday)
Next to HP Pavilion
(between St. John and Santa Clara streets)

Adults: $17
Seniors and children ages 6-12: $12
Children under six: Free

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