On July 19 & 20, 2014, Central Coast residents and visitors are in for a rare treat when normally tranquil Laguna Lake Park is transformed into a vibrant English village overflowing with excitement at a visit from Queen Elizabeth during a summer market faire.
It's the 30th Annual Central Coast Renaissance Festival, turning the calendar back to the year 1585. Entertainment director Rick Smith says, â€œBanners will fly and music play as the â€œvillagersâ€ welcome guests to this colorful festival.â€ Smith says that over 500 elaborately costumed participants come to San Luis Obispo from all over California to bring the village to life.
Smith says that this is a unique family event offering something for all ages. â€œWe have several exciting new acts this year, including a falconry show; a comedic stunt show involving juggling, fire eating and acrobatics; a collection of Shakespearean vignettes filled with bawdy humor, physical comedy and outrageous swordplay; comedy, music and dance shows. And of course, the highlight of the day is the full combat joust, held twice daily.â€
Vendor coordinator Lara Cathcart says that in addition to the shows, guests enjoy shopping from vendors offering everything from hand thrown ceramics to full costumes, jewelry, leather goods, art and more. â€œVendors are part of the show too. They are in costume and will address you as 'Good Day, My Lady' instead of just helloâ€, she says. â€œWe even strive for reasonably period food such as meat pies, Cornish pasties, turkey legs, and of course good ale, wine and beer,â€
Smith says a new activity for kids is a costume contest, held daily. Prizes will be awarded. There are also pony rides and an area where kids can learn the art of stage fighting. â€œDon't worry moms, the swords are made of foam and the teacher is a pro,â€ Smith adds.
Festivities start each day at 10 AM with a greeting by the Lord Mayor, followed by a showy opening parade. The day ends at 6:00 PM on Saturday and at 5:00 PM on Sunday with a closing parade.