Gilded Serpent presents...
Tale of Two Faires
fall of 2002, in the San Francisco Bay Area we had two competing
renaissance faires. "Ren Faires" have been a common place
for belly dancers to perform and attract students. It's another
place that they could cavort in costume whether or not they were
a hired participant or simply one of the paying fairgoers. There
always seemed to be alot of competition and rumours associated with
it. Who was doing it right as far as authenticity or ability to
entertain? It seemed that whoever the troupe was that was there
in any year reflected on the rest of us. It seemed that the ren
faire we all knew in Black Point, Novato, kept changing producers
and locations. Now their were two ren faires!
family is on staff with Renaissance
Entertainment Corporation, helped me sort through
my confusion at a teacher's meeting one day. I asked her
to write a brief history synopsis to clear the confusion
a long time faire participant and a former student, had now
become a booth owner. She consented to give me her report
on the fair in Casa De Fruta. She also shared with us her
father's (Eric Heberson) pictures from the event.
Bell worked both faires this year and generously
supplied his impressions as a musician at the Novato fair.
He and his wife Elizabeth, (who just changed
her name to Ling Shien) have worked with Hahbi'
Ru for a long time and has been part of the music
scene in the Bay Area forever (watch for his interveiw
coming soon as the newest addition to our North
fair was close to my home so I was able to glean pictures
from this event myself. Below we start with Alnisa and then
we link to reports and photos from each fair.- Editor.
Brief History of
the Renaissance Pleasure Faire
In 1963, Phyllis
Patterson produced the first Renaissance Faire in
the United States. She was teaching school in Laurel Canyon
(in Southern California) and the event was held to make use
of the Comedia wagon her students had built. A small affair
to begin with, it quickly grew and in 1967 a Renaissance
Faire was held in Northern Calififornia. The early years
were in China Camp in Marin County, later
moving to Blackpoint Forest in Novato, Calif.
difficulties forced the sale of that company to the Renaissance
Entertainment Corporation in 1994..- Even though
the land at Blackpoint had been sold previously, a few more “Farewell
to Blackpoint" Faires were held. As the land was developed
into a golf course, and now homes, the Renaissance Pleasure
Faire moved to the site of the Nut Tree in
Vacaville. After 3 years (once again due to developers) the
Faire has moved to the Casa de Fruta outside
of Gilroy. REC has continued to produce the Southern California
Renaissance Pleasure Faire as well as Faires in Wisconsin and
management of the California Faires for REC, Kevin
Patterson (one of Phyllis' two sons) and his wife Leslie formed “As
You Like It Productions”. That company has
brought the much-loved Dickens' Christmas Fair to the Cow Palace
in San Francisco. They have also produced a Renaissance Faire
outside of Santa Barbara for the last three years and this
year for the first time they returned the Faire to Novato with
Faire" at Stafford Lake.
Tale of Two Faires continues: