The Renaissance Pleasure Faire
April - May
The natural place to learn Renaissance crafts is at the two
main Renaissance Faires in California. The Faires re-create
a typical country faire in England in the 16th century.
Merchants, villagers, musicians, entertainers, and the Queen
and her nobles come together to celebrate the harvest.
At this faire the Institute runs the Queen’s College of
Arts & Crafts, where masters teach over two dozen
crafts. In fact, the Institute was started by Faire
craftspeople who wanted to share their knowledge with
Crafts include Venetian masks, leather pouches, chain maille,
marbled paper, candle making, and many more.
The mayor’s parade winds its way through
the village at the southern faire.
A young artist makes a Venetian mask for
The Northern Renaissance Faire is held on the grounds of
Casa de Fruta, on Highway 152, north of Hollister.
Here the Institute runs the Pastime Garden of Arts &
Crafts, where our teachers pass on their skills to
visitors in a shaded garden. Both adults and children enjoy
taking a break from walking the faire, and making a work of
art as a memento or as a gift.
The crafts mentioned above are also taught at the Northern
Faire, and on Fridays during the Faire season the Institute
runs workshops for children to introduce them to the culture
of Elizabethan England (see school programs)