Renaissance Festival and Pleasure Faire

Renaissance Festival and Pleasure Faire in Irwindale, California 2014

I’ve been living in Southern California for a few years and today was the first time I've ever made it out to the Renaissance Festival in Irwindale California. The first thing I want to mention is that the city of Irwindale is what Orange County would look like if a nuclear bomb was dropped on Irvine. If you've ever driven through Irwindale, you know just how Kurt Russell must have felt while he was on the set of Escape from LA.  Luckily, the actual festival is held in a charming park on the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area. And when I say charming, I mean charming compared to the Thunderdome that is the rest of Irwindale. 

The Renaissance Festival is definitely huge and there are a ton of things to do. All of the shows are free and there were a significant number of free activities, but almost all of the games cost money.  You want to shoot 10 arrows? That’ll cost you $5. You want to throw 8 knives? $5.  You want to throw ten hatchets? $5. You want to throw 4 javelins? $5. And so on. I was a little upset with the lack of prizes for the games. A man dressed like Peter Pan’s gay uncle coaxed me to play one of the games. He bet me I couldn't match him in a javelin throwing contest.  I hurled my first javelin 30 yards through the dead center of the bullseye, and what did I get? Nothing.  

There was actually wide selection of food. It’s funny to see a Scottish pavilion set up next to a Mexican taco stand. It’s encouraging to see that two cultures that are so different can both agree to charge $3 for a small bottled water.

As with any renaissance festival, the best free attraction is always ‘people watching’. Where else can you see 300 pound woman dressed as a pixie squeeze her double D breasts into a corset made for someone half her size?

Tickets to the festival were $28 at the door for adults and $22.50 for kids. I don’t care what the website says, that was the posted price on the door. Walgreens has $4 off coupons, but we didn't use them so I can’t vouch for the price. Did I enjoy myself? Yes. Will I go back next year? Probably.  Did I spend 140$ to throw Chinese-made medieval weapons into a bale of hay for three hours? I sure did. 

Renaissance Festival and Pleasure Faire
Santa Fe Dam and Recreation Area


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