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

News Archive

August 2011

Wednesday, August 31 2011

10:04 AM - Welcome, The Complete Fool! (posted by Webmaster)
Another visiting merchant: 'The Complete Fool, jester hats & juggling supplies' will join us on 2nd and 3rd weekend.

Monday, August 29 2011

1:08 PM - Get in for $5/day? (posted by Webmaster)
Just a reminder... You can buy a season pass and get in to the festival for $5/day for all seven days. $35 is all it costs and then you can come and go as you please over the three weekends. Even if you just go once per weekend, you save money over individual single day passes.

10:45 AM - Vendor and Entertainment updates... (posted by Webmaster)
Yes, we are still adding things, even five days before opening. Another demo has been listed, and another merchant added to our Canterbury Plaza shops... Keep checking the site (or our Facebook page) throughout the week for the latest...

Saturday, August 27 2011

9:40 PM - Vendor and demo updates! (posted by Webmaster)
The Shopping section (vendors) of this website, as well as Entertainment (including demos) has had major updates tonight. Check them out!

8:43 PM - Entertainment schedule being worked on! (posted by Webmaster)
If you wish to follow along this week as the weekend entertainment schedule is put together, you can jump to it here:

Keep in mind, it will change and change and change and change right up until Thursday night, when it is sent off to the printer. We like to post it so our entertainers and help be part of the process, if they desire.

Wednesday, August 24 2011

3:05 PM - Like us on Facebook, if you don't mind. (posted by Webmaster)

Tuesday, August 23 2011

1:57 PM - Kettle Corn vendor wanted. (posted by Webmaster)
Each year, we ask for feedback from visitors about what food items they liked, and what they would like to see added. A few years ago, we lost our original kettle corn merchant after a flood destroyed their equipment. The lack of kettle corn has been noticed, and this year, the festival is wanting to find an area kettle corn merchant that might be interested in vending at the Faire the first three weekends in September.

(Update: Third weekend taken. First and second weekend still open.)

E-mail for details.

Also, another food booth (sink, hot water, power) is available -- our mini donut folks are unable to attend this season, so there is an opportunity to bring in someone else to try out the Faire

Sunday, August 21 2011

1:01 PM - Radio ads posted to Publicity page... (posted by Webmaster)
A set of five prototype radio ads for this year's Des Moines Renaissance Faire has been posted to the Publicity page. Check them out.

10:08 AM - TV ad preview. (posted by Webmaster)
Until we get our Publicity page updated, here is a sneak peek at the first TV ad for this season...

Saturday, August 20 2011

8:26 PM - There will be mead! (posted by Webmaster)
Summerset Winery has let us know, via their Facebook page, that there will be mead available at this year's Faire. It often sells out quickly, though, so if you are looking to take a bottle home, make the an early stop in the day (and ask if they will hold it for you until you are ready to leave).

2:23 PM - Big city jousting, right here in Des Moines! (posted by Webmaster)
Did you know... Our Iowa home team jousters, JoustEvolution, have now also started doing the jousting at Kansas City? We had them first, and still do! We also have other acts from KCRF and MNRF that join us from year to year. Help us make the next five years grow, too. Come out, and bring your family and friends. (Group discounts available!)

Thursday, August 18 2011

10:22 AM - Iowa State Fair update... (posted by Webmaster)
Near the end of aisle 200 in the Varied Industries building is the Sleepy Hollow Sports Park booth. There, you can pick up literature about the snowy things they do in the winter, the sweaty things they do in the summer, the scary things they do in October, and the Renaissance Faire in September! Be sure to stop by and say hi if you make it to the state fair during the final days this season.

They also have discount coupons for the Renaissance Faire.

And to all of those we have spoken to so far (including your humble webmaster, who was there on Wednesday night), it has been a pleasure meeting you and we hope to see you again in a few weeks!

(And if you spoke to us about volunteering or working the faire, remember that this Saturday, August 20th, is an orientation meeting at Sleepy Hollow, starting at 5:30 p.m. Come on out!)

Wednesday, August 17 2011

9:46 AM - Mailing list news update. (posted by Webmaster)
(From our mailing list, which you can subscribe to via a link in the "scroll" menu on the left of this page...)

Greetings from the Des Moines Renaissance Faire. Here is a long-overdue update for our mailing list subscribers.

2011 will be the 6th anniversary of Festival Park, the "theme park style English village" where the Renaissance Faire is now held. It will be the 9th "Des Moines Renaissance Faire" counting the two events that were held in 2004  (Iowa State Fair parking lot after a flood, and Water Works  Park) and 2005 (Iowa State Fair campground).

Please join us!


Tell your friends: "The Des Moines Renaissance Faire is theme park style English village, featuring beautiful landscaping, over forty unique buildings, and one of the largest 'castles' in America. There's live entertainment, costumed characters, shopping, food and drink. It runs the first three weekends in September, and there is so much to see that a low-cost season pass is available for all seven days." (Yes, that's basically from our new radio ads...)


And speaking of season passes... Remember, a low-cost season pass is available that will give you unlimited admission to the event ALL SEVEN DAYS! Pick one up, then come and go as you please -- pop in for a few hours each day just to see the joust, or stay open to close and spend all 56 hours "at the faire". (We do...!)

With each weekend having a different theme, if you plan to go once each weekend, you save money by using the season pass versus individual one day tickets each time. (In fact, the season pass is only a few dollars more than buying two individual one day tickets!)

You can call Sleepy Hollow Sports Park at 515-262-4100 for more information. (Keep in mind, they may have to forward you to one of the festival managers, since the folks working at the concession stand dealing with their batting cages, go-karts, miniature golf, bumper boats, driving range, etc. may not know all the details on the Renaissance Faire.)


If you are on Facebook, please "Like" the DMRF page:

If you are on Twitter, please "Follow" us:

Items posted to Facebook now get mirrored to Twitter, so either way, you can get the news.


New for 2011 is a high-tech update to the "Torture Dungeon" tour that was installed a few years ago. Details will be coming, but we have been installing a new computer-controlled lighting and sound systems for this (which will be reprogrammed and used in October when the rest of the castle is open as a large haunted house attraction). Updates will be posted to the Facebook/Twitter accounts. (And yes, it is a bit theme park-ish, but we like to refer to it as "magic.")


Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, host of the DMRF, has a booth at the Iowa State Fair in the Varied Industries building. In the evenings, Renaissance Faire folks are staffing it, so stop by and say hi.


The website continues to get updates to merchants and vendors. The entertainment schedule will not be finalized until a few days before opening (there are still acts being moved around, new things added, last minute changes). We will try to post a downloadable version of the entertainment grid by Friday before each weekend.


A set of new radio ads will be airing in some areas, soon. These are at stations outside of the Des Moines metro. If you hear one of them in your area, please let us know. We'd like to figure out the best way to spread the word. Local TV ads will also start airing later this month. The ads will also be posted on the website.


For our visitors from the Omaha area, launched new service between Omaha and Des Moines. (We have no connection with them. Just passing this along.) They are doing a special sale right now, and I priced a round trip that was only $6... This will likely be more when the prices go to normal. This may be a way to come see the DMRF from Omaha without spending $$$ on gas and putting miles on your car. There are two trips per day, and they go between Crossroads Mall in Omaha and drop off in downtown Des Moines.

IF YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED, send me a note -   If enough people are interested, we may see about running the Sleepy Hollow Sports Park shuttle bus between the downtown bus stop and the festival, allowing Omaha folks a low cost way to visit for the day (or weekend, if you stay at a hotel with their own van service).

Just a thought.


More to come! :-)

-- DMRF Webmaster

P.S. - Thank you so much for attending this event in past years. Through floods, rain, mud and other less-than-ideal situations, Festival Park has grown in to such a lovely site compared to the barren mud and wood chip place it opened as back in 2006. With your support, and strong attendance, some big plans are in the works for future expansion.
Updates mailing list

Tuesday, August 16 2011

11:13 AM - New Torture Chamber museum tour planned for 2011... (posted by Webmaster)
Assuming all the technical details work out, a new "tour" of the Marrick Castle "Torture Dungeon" is being planned for the 2011 season. Some tidbits have been posted on our Facebook page:

The enhancements being done (lighting, sound) will also be used in October when the entire castle is opened up as part of a haunted house attraction, but don't worry... Nothing scary (except scary history) in the museum portion which will be open during the Renaissance faire.

And speaking of fairs, if you visit the Iowa State Fair, look for the Sleepy Hollow booth in the Varied Industries building. In the evenings, volunteers from the Renaissance faire will be there to answer questions (and, sometimes, pose for photos).

Monday, August 1 2011

5:46 PM - Orientation - August 20th (posted by Webmaster)
Attention all volunteers, street characters, performers and merchants (in the area)... The DMRF 2011 orientation meeting will be August 20 at 5:30pm at Sleepy Hollow. Contact Greg for details.

For anyone else, if you are interested in getting involved, drop him a note as well (see the Contact page). We are looking to build a large community of local talent/helpers for this festival to grow!