Renaissance Faires


Southern Faire

The Renaissance Pleasure Faire
April - May
, CA



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 others.


Crafts include Venetian masks, leather pouches, chain maille, needlework, basketry,  puppets, 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 a friend.



Northern Faire

The NorCal Renaissance Faire
September - October
Hollister, CA



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).