Arrow Highway, Irwindale.Tickets: $29.95 adults, $15 children 5-12 and free for children under 5.Information: 626-969-4750, www.renfair.com/socal. When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays April 8-May 21.Where: Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area, 15501 E.
Sportive Tricks is a folk-rock group with Irish influences that offers original and traditional tunes. Adults seeking something a little more rowdy and bawdy can visit Rogue’s Reef to take in the wonderful singing and fun antics of the Poxy Boggards or the saucy grrrl power of the Merry Wives of Windsor. Best play or show: MooNie the Magnif’Cent, classic clowning and slack-rope work, and Broon, stand-up comedy while juggling bowling balls and eating fire, are both very entertaining and suitable for the whole family. The theater troupe Sound & Fury offers comic genre parody plays and invites audience participation.Best music performance: If you are seeking traditional sounds, Glen Morgan plays a mean hammer dulcimer and Ad Hoc Consort performs real Renaissance music on instruments of the time period.
If you want to meet the Queen in person, have tea with her at 4 p.m. daily, $26 adults, $13 children, reservations required http://www.stcuthbertguild.com. Gamers’ Row has challenges and prizes for upper grades and teens. Get an overview of the shire on RenQuest, an interactive adventure for all ages. Best children’s and family activities: Toddlers through grade schoolers can find fun, like the Gnome Hunt, “Beauty and the Beast” onstage, and digging in the sandbox for pirate treasure, at Kids’ Kingdom. If you need a little quiet time, visit Queen’s College, which has traditionally-based crafts for all ages.Best way to see the Queen: Sure, you can fight the throng of those trying to get a peek at Her Highness as she travels through the streets to her appointments, but you can be assured of a better view during the daily Queen’s Show.
ORIGINAL RENAISSANCE PLEASURE FAIRE
Healthy eaters will savor the Greek booth’s gyros dished out by ever-cheerful servers, plus there are also sandwiches for both meat lovers and vegans. Top one off with a plate of bacon-wrapped poppers from the Food Court. Best food: Hearty eaters will like the meat pies served near the top of Gamers’ Row, as they are easy to eat, have a good crust and can be doused with brown sauce. For something sweet, try Sin-on-a-Stick, a frozen wedge of chocolate-covered cheesecake on a stick, or on a hot afternoon refresh yourself with a fruit ice in flavors like orange, lemon, pineapple, mango and coconut at the top of the Food Court.
With so much to see, do and eat, we asked a panel of experts — that is, Faire performers — to give us their tips for a great day. As well, you can always pack a cooler with supplies to leave in the car (coolers aren’t allowed in) and stock it with food and cool drinks that you can go out and consume after getting your hand stamped. ‘Tis spring, which means maidens, wenches, knights and fools are heading to the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale April 8-May 21. Before we get to those, we must first encourage you to bring sunscreen, hats, water (you can bring in one unopened bottle per person, or an empty cup to fill at a fountain) as well as snacks (you should check ahead as the Faire limits what you can bring inside — see here — but you can bring items if you have special dietary needs or need to bring baby food).