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Renaissance Festivals in Iowa: Fantasy Villages Recreate Life in a 16th Century English Marketplace

Published by Lanny Berch

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Renaissance Festivals are fun fantasy events filled with entertainment, costumed characters, lords & ladies, peasants, dancers and musicians. Kings and Queens of legend step out of the pages of history to stroll the lanes with modern day man and woman. Visitors often dress in creative costumes to add to the festive atmosphere. Step into medieval style villages, built to recreate a period in time four to six hundred years ago.

Lively costumed characters entertain on stage and as they stroll the lanes of imaginary outdoor village marketplaces. Elaborately garbed actors bring the nobility and peasants of Olde England back to life. Visitors enjoy having conversations in fake old English accents. Marketplace vendors sell renaissance styled artworks, jewelry, clothing and weapons. Vendors offer fair food that can be eaten without the benefit of utensils.

Following are Renaissance festivals in Iowa this year.

Iowa Renaissance Festival & Gathering O’Celts

May 3-4, 11 am to 6 pm

Amana Colonies, near Iowa City

Middle Amana Park – Medici Grove

Iowa Renaissance Festival features jousting knights, five living history camps, food court, Artisan Marketplace, Four entertainment stages and children’s realm.Tickets $10 Adults, $5 Kids, under 8 free.

Des Moines Renaissance Faire

August 30 – September 14,

Saturdays and Sundays, plus Labor Day10 am to 6 pm

Clear Lake, Iowa

The first three weekends of September are filled with Renaissance fun in Clear Lake, Iowa. Ren-faire features costumed characters, fair food, music an entertainment.

Each weekend has a different theme. Festival theme follow:

August 30, 31 and September 1: “Pirates, Heroes & Daring Duels.”

September 6 – 7: “Highlanders, Celts & Lucky Lasses”

September 13-14 “Romance, Wine & Royal Revelry”

Des Moines Renaissance Faire is held at an 18 acres outdoor event center, located at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, just south of the state fairgrounds. Ticket prices have not been released at the time of this writing.

Kingdom of Riverssance

October 4 – 5, 10 am to 8 pm, Sunday till 4 pm

Sioux City, Iowa

Kingdom of Riverssance is a Renaissance Festival features entertainment, food, marketplace and fun. Entertainment include costumed characters, belly dancers, Cad E Sin Royal Hounds, Madrigal singers, Riders of the Golden Age Jousters, Scalawags Pirate Comedy show, puppeteers, face painters, Sioux City Bagpipes, Danza Mystique Dancers and music. Special events: Royal Smoker, Queen’s Tea, Children’s Knighting, Iowa Tudor Guard Weapons Presentation, Kingdom of Riverssance Sword 7 Weapon Presentation, Children’s Great Faerie Hunt and Royal Parade. Admission Adults $9, Juniors 7-16 $3, Children 6 and under Free.

Information is subject to change. See the festival websites for additional information.

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