A faire out of time: Irvindale Renaissance Pleasure Faire mixes the old world with the new

For a day the old world and styles of the future melded at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale.

Last Saturday, under the spring sun, adventurers and jesters, wenches and lords gathered for “Time Traveler’s Day”, a special event meant to accommodate the younger generation, sci-fi lovers, and steam punk. This particular sub-genre fuses industrialism with 19th century aesthetics and clothing, resulting in a surreal hybrid of machinery and rebellious style.

Vendors lined an unpaved market road, meant to evoke the Middle Ages, proclaiming their wares in accentuated English accents. Goods ranged from intricate hand-crafted wands to extravagant robes and jewelry. Some even offered full suits of armor for those willing to handle the price tag.

A baroness in full renaissance regalia greeted attendees in her character Charlotte de Sauve’s native language of French. It was pure, classical reverie.

“What a miraculous world it is,” said de Sauve, “I came to England to wait upon her majesty.”

Actors remained in character , feigning ignorance when faced with technology and describing the fair as an Elizabethan spring festival.

The gathering has kindled a Renaissance of its own since its origin in the 1960s. Vendor Raymond Amsbury, a long time veteran of the fair, described his first impressions of the festivities when he got involved 44 years ago.

“The beauty of it back in the day was that it was open and free, hippie-like,” said Amsbury, “It really did create a renaissance during that time period, people were just starting to get into arts and crafts and that gave us a venue to show our work and sell.”

The debauchery and grandeur of the Renaissance Pleasure Faire will continue until May 17th.