Latest News: Friday, September 6 2019 - DMRF 2019 Status

News Archive

August 2008

Sunday, August 31 2008

10:11 PM - FREE dungeon tour? Free games? Free climbing wall? (posted by Webmaster)
The Village of Canterbury has decided to do a few extra things to welcome visitors this season -- all designed to help your family entertainment budget go a bit farther.

First, there is a brand new Castle "Torture Chamber" tour, where you walk through displays of some historically disturbing torture devices. Normally, one would expect this type of tour to be an additional fee (usually a few dollars) -- but this year in our village, the tour is included with the price of admission. You can see the brand new tour FREE! It can be found at the rock-wall side of the castle.

And speaking of the climbing wall... Perhaps you want to take a try at climbing the castle wall yourself... Rock climb attractions are normally added-cost, but for visitors this season, you can climb for free -- just have your arm band (which you get with paid admission) on.

How about some games? While we do have an archery range and the "Ace of Blades" knife toss booth that are visiting merchants (who therefore do charge a small fee to play their games), the village's local games (and some of the rides!) are also free with your ticket. Consider it a thank you for coming out and supporting this new and growing Iowa event.

There are also other opportunities to participate in free activities for the kids, or for the grown ups. A daily kilt wrapping demo could show the world how great your man's knees look. The Summerset Wine Villa has daily grape stomping demonstrations -- great fun to watch. Watch leather being worked on at Lords of Leather, see what the Patchwork Mercenary Merchants are tinkering with, see the blacksmith work, the pewter artist create spoons, and find out how a sand mold can create a key over at Lady Lana's.

The festival continues on Labor Day Monday, then the following two weekends. Discount tickets are still available at area Hy-Vees, and for larger groups, call Sleepy Hollow Sports Park (515-262-4100) to inquire about group discounts.

Come enjoy the fun!

Saturday, August 30 2008

11:22 PM - Opening day report! (posted by Webmaster)
The 2008 Des Moines Renaissance Faire opened today with some great weather. The festival continues for the next two days (Sunday and Labor Day Monday), and then the following two weekends, so come on out and enjoy the fun!

The village landscapers have been hard at work improving Festival Park this year, and it really shows. More plantings, trees, and grassy areas. A number of new merchants have joined us this year, as well.

Come out and see The Great Manzini -- a Houdini-style escape artist -- who challenged audience members to bind his hands at today's closing gate show. How long do you think it took him to escape multiple tight knots?

Kids With Fire showed how they not only play with fire, but have also learned to breath it.

The JoustEvolution show is new for this year, with a new mysterious character joining their ranks (you may have seen him pictured in this week's Des Moines Register Datebook). New stunts and a shocking new ending, as well.

Our Queen Catherine is also inviting you all to her wedding and royal reception (daily; amazing how that works out). Bring gifts! (Just kidding.)

Limited edition Des Moines Renaissance Faire leather drinking mugs by Boars Head Leather are available, though they may be gone by the end of this weekend. The new medallions are also quite nice, and carry the 2008 date. They will be $10 while supplies last. The Potter's House also has a variety of new 2008 items. You can also get an official portrait taken by Forget Me Nots.

The Summerset Wine Villa has mead as well, and you can get samples or buy a bottle to take home.

Each day, the Wizard Face Painters invite young ones to participate in a children's joust, just down from King Oberon's Realm (treehouse structure added last year).

One of the Canterbury Plaza visiting artists is working on an original piece this weekend. Stop by and see her progress.

A new piratey act, the Three Captains, has been brought down from the Minnesota area, too.

There's much, much more to see and do this year, and things will only get better as everyone gets warmed up, so please come out and join the fun!

Thursday, August 28 2008

6:48 AM - Des Moines Register article (posted by Webmaster)
Pick up today's copy of the Des Moines Register (Datebook section) for an article on this year's event, including photos. The online version can be found here:

Wednesday, August 27 2008

4:33 PM - DMRF cast in this week's DM Juice. (posted by Webmaster)
Pick up a copy of this week's "DM Juice" free paper for an article on Melissa Elder, who is part of Joustevolution and the Tavern Wenches of Canterbury. You can find a link to the online version of the article on our Publicity page.

Monday, August 25 2008

10:24 PM - Official Souvenirs (posted by Webmaster)
By request, a new page has been created showing some of the official Des Moines Renaissance Faire merchandise that will be available. You can find a link to it from the top of any page on this site, and eventually we may be able to offer online sales for some of it.

Sunday, August 24 2008

1:40 PM - Entertainment for weekend 1... (posted by Webmaster)
We've been working on the entertainment schedule for opening weekend, and should have something posted soon. A few last minute changes came in this weekend, and that's why we usually don't put anything out more than a week in advance.

Some stats for 2008: Not counting the scheduled demos and Royal Court presentations (they have a number of actual shows they do), there will be over 70 show slots each day this opening three-day-weekend. The festival opens at 10:00 after an opening gate show, then entertainment is scheduled continuously from 10:30 to 5:30, when the closing gate show happens. Most time slots have 6-7 acts going on at the same time, with a few at 8. This will drop down a bit during the joust, since we try to schedule less during those events so everyone can see the biggest (and most expensive!) show of the festival.

This gives an average of over five simultaneous acts per time slot at any time in the day. With the festival being open only eight hours, there is simply no way to see all the acts during that time. With 26 scheduled acts opening weekend (again, not counting the demos and such), and most using a 30 minute slot, that would be 13 hours of continuous shows. (And, that's just seeing an act once -- musical acts do different sets, many other acts have multiple shows they do during the day, so it would kind of be like listening to one song on an album and saying you've heard the entire album.)

With that in mind... Season Passes anyone? They are currently for sale at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park. It lets you go all seven days for just a bit more than the price of three days. If you only plan to go a few days, you can buy discount tickets at area Hy-Vee stores. Just keep in mind, many stores sold out last year, so get them while they last!

See you "at the faire!"

Saturday, August 23 2008

12:56 PM - Des Moines Register photo shoot. (posted by Webmaster)
Several members of the Des Moines Renaissance Faire entertainment cast went down to the Des Moines Register on Friday for a photo shoot. I believe the pictures may appear in the upcoming Datebook. On hand were the King and Queen, two of the Joustevolution jousters, a squire (who is also part of the Tavern Wenches of Canterbury), and two pirates. We were told they may place an online photo gallery up with the extra pictures that won't be used in the print magazine.

Thursday, August 21 2008

6:25 PM - Merchants and Food pages updated - with photos! (posted by Webmaster)
Photos of most of our merchants (and food vendors) have been added to the "Food" and "Shopping" pages. Check them out. Also, ongoing updates have been made to the "Entertainment" and "Cast" page over the past few weeks. We should be confirmed enough to start working on Weekend 1's entertainment grid soon.

Wednesday, August 6 2008

5:25 PM - Welcome, Hampton Inn (West DM) (posted by Webmaster)
Our lodging page has been updated, and we'd like to welcome a new hotel sponsor:

Hampton Inn - West Des Moines
7060 Lake Drive
West Des Moines, IA 50266
(515) 223-4700
Notes: Call in to book with a special $89 rate for the Renaissance Faire.

Tuesday, August 5 2008

11:01 PM - (posted by Webmaster)
Check out our personal appearance schedule, come out and meet costumed characters and place your name into our free drawing for an "official" Des Moines Renaissance Faire Jousting Steed, courtesy of Games & More of Valley West Mall in West Des Moines.

Monday, August 4 2008

6:51 PM - Appearance Schedule updated... And more... (posted by Webmaster)
The Publicity page has been updated with a list of upcoming appearances that some of our festival characters and volunteers will be making.

Also, minor updates on the Tickets page (discount tickets!), and the About page.

Friday, August 1 2008

4:42 PM - Des Moines Ren Faire "Best of August" (posted by Webmaster)
Even though the event barely starts in August (August 31st is opening day), it still managed to be listed as one of the Des Moines Register's "Best of August" events:

Des Moines Register "The best of August"

More items will be added to our Publicity page as they develop, including many personal appearances festival characters will be making around the metroplex.