Stepping back in time; Golden Gate transforms into Tudor England with jousting, feasting, minstrels and dancing
Golden Gate Renaissance Faire raises money for local schools in San Francisco with a full weekend of theatrical pageantry
San Francisco, CA; August 4, 2005 - Horseback-riding knights aren’t just the stuff of fairy tales. August 27th and 28th, 2005, the second annual Golden Gate Renaissance Faire will showcase the lifestyle and culture of Tudor England in a two-day festival to raise money for a local school in the San Francisco.
Set against the backdrop of Speedway Meadow in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the festival is a chance for the young and old alike to take a step back in history. Non-stop entertainment will be provided on the streets by over a thousand colorfully costumed performers. The faire will feature 5 stages of continuous entertainment including two courts fighting for power, expertly staged battle scenes and theatrical performances, storytellers, belly dancers, knights on horses, musicians and more.
The event will feature the courts of Queens Jane and Mary and of a young Princess Elizabeth who will recreate, through carefully scripted presentations, England’s struggle for identity and for the crown. Onlookers will follow the drama each day as it progresses through town and finally finishes with a great battle each afternoon.
Weekend’s highlights include the Knights of the Azure Cross, a jousting troupe that will compete in duels on horseback twice daily. Contests will include spear throwing, ring spearing and cabbage cutting. And then, onlookers will be astounded by the action of the hard-hitting lance-splitting jousting. Thousands of pounds of man, horse and metal collide and do battle right before your eyes. It is almost guaranteed that a scuffle will break out between the battling knights, and just as surely the Queen will restore order.
“It happens live, right before your eyes,” says Bill Watters, organizer of the event. “It is the one thing that everyone will remember. Many people may have seen jousting in the movies or on TV, but here there are no cuts or edits.”
Children will play numerous games for prizes including dragon’s tears, which they can keep as souvenirs. Over seventy booths will offer hair braiding, jewelry, clothes, armor, swords, pottery, and other wares for sale.
Beyond the shows: Done with laughter and looking to fill your belly with something more nourishing? Travelers can take respite at the Royal Kitchens Court and enjoy delicacies such as meat pastries, bangers, Scottish meat pies and Irish soda bread. But nothing says Renaissance Faire like a smoked turkey leg. Adults can also partake from a selection of wines and beers in two wine gardens.
Visitors need not dress the part or be fluent in the Queen’s English, but period costumes always add to the magic and make it more fun to play.
“Having drawn the skills and talent from regional groups and events, we’ve drawn together some of the very best entertainment and are building upon what’s come before,” Bill Watters continued. “The result is an experience unlike anything else, showcasing a range of entertaining, authentically historical presentations and costuming from ethnic backgrounds that can appeal to all tastes and ages.”
A portion of festival profits will be donated to a local San Francisco high school whose name will be announced on Sunday. “We hope to continue to direct attention towards preserving arts programs as a part of the educational curriculum,” said Marti Miernik, performance director of the Golden Gate Renaissance Faire and Renaissance Productions. ”Studies have long shown the positive impact the arts have on children. And in that vein, we hope to help preserve and support after hours and performing arts programs of one school that needs it most.” Donation is given to a different school every year.
The Golden Gate Renaissance Faire will be held in Golden Gate Park, Speedway Meadow. It will run Saturday and Sunday, August 27th and 28th. The castle gates will swing open Saturday at 10:00am and close at 6:00pm on Saturday, and 5:00pm on Sunday. Tickets are $15.00 for adults, $10.00 for seniors, military, and ages 13-17, $5.00 for children 6-12, and under 6 are free. For more information on the event and directions to the park, please visit www.sffaire.com
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