Latest News: Wednesday, July 17 2019 - Des Moines Ren Faire 2019 info

News Archive

September 2008

Tuesday, September 23 2008

11:18 AM - Feedback needed to help improve 2009 event. (posted by Webmaster)
The 2008 season for the Des Moines Renaissance Faire is now over, and work at Sleepy Hollow has turned towards their Scream Park Halloween event. Those interested in seeing Festival Park in a different light (er, night) should check it out. Most stand-alone haunted houses in Des Moines are $10 for the 5-15 minute experience, but the Sleepy Hollow "Scream Park" is an entire evening featuring three haunted houses (new additions this year), a haunted walk, hayride, shopping and eating in the village, and other entertainment. You may even encounter some of your favorite Des Moines Renaissance Faire performers in more ghoulish capacities... http://www.sleepyhollowsportspark.com

Now, with that out of the way... Feedback is needed to help improve the event for 2009. A feedback form is available on this website (see the link in the scroll menu on the left of virtually every page of this site).

Please take a moment to fill one out for the weekend(s) you attended, and let the event owners know what you liked, and what you'd like to see next year. So much of what has happened from year to year (and in some cases, weekend to weekend) is directly the results of folks like yourself taking a few minutes to fill out the form. New grass and plantings, more seating, more descriptive event maps and bringing in certain types of merchandise have all been done based on suggestions from visitors.

Now it's your turn to help nudge the event for 2009. All comments are forwarded to management and owners of both Sleepy Hollow Sports Park and Festivals International.

Thanks! And note, due to spam, the comment form is password protected. The instructions are on the page, but basically when you click the link, it will ask you for a username and password. Type "feedback" for both username, and password. Good luck!

Monday, September 15 2008

7:47 PM - Romance Weekend (now Sep 20/21) schedule being worked on... (posted by Webmaster)
Over the next few days, the entertainment schedule for the reschedule Romance Weekend will be worked on. This weekend was planned for Sep 13/14, but has to be rescheduled to the 20/21st due to weather concerns.

A prototype work-in-progress schedule is now online from the Entertainment page, and if you visit it daily, you will see it change as it is reworked in to the new schedule for the 20/21st. The change in weekends will affect the entertainment lineup slightly, with some new acts being brought in to replace those who could now make the new dates.

Stay tuned!

Friday, September 12 2008

8:05 AM - FESTIVAL POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER (to Sep 20-21) (posted by Webmaster)
Due to the forecasts for this weekend, the decision has been made to reschedule the Des Moines Renaissance Faire for next weekend, September 20th and 21st. All tickets purchased for this weekend will be honored. For more information, please call 515.262.4100.

Thursday, September 11 2008

10:22 PM - Show guide now available for weekend 3. (posted by Webmaster)
A downloadable PDF of this weekends entertainment grid and village map is now available from the Entertainment page. You can print it out today and circle all the acts you plan to see this weekend.

Wednesday, September 10 2008

7:34 PM - DON'T MISS the opening gate show this weekend! (posted by Webmaster)
This will be the final weekend for the 2008 Des Moines Renaissance Faire, and I wanted to take a moment to stress two bits of entertainment many folks may overlook.

First, show up a bit early. Before the festival opens, around 9:45 a.m., there is an opening gate show. This is one of the largest shows in the entire festival, featuring dozens of cast members and a scenario that is played out on both the upper level of the front gate and on the ground outside the ticket booths. It involves the royal court and the pirates, and is a great photo opportunity.

Then, towards the end of the day, at 5:30 p.m., the stages will be cleared so most of the village cast and performers can meet up at Canterbury Place (the entrance "main street" area). A final large-scale show is held right there, featuring -- again -- dozens of performers, including the royal court and the return of the pirates (to close out the show that was started in the morning). It features sword fights and comedy.

Also, during the closing gate "last huzzah" show, a selection of the day's entertainers will be called forth by the Court to perform short bits -- it could be a song, or some juggling, or fire breathing, or anything else. It's like a "best-of" end-of-day performance.

So try to arrive a bit early to see the starting show, and be sure to hang around to see the final show of the day. No other show during the entire festival features as many performers in one spot, and missing it would be like leaving the restaurant before dessert is served...

See you there!

Sunday, September 7 2008

8:25 PM - Celtic weekend concludes. Up next: Romance! (posted by Webmaster)
The second weekend of the 2008 Des Moines Renaissance Faire has concluded, which means the third and final weekend of 2008 -- Romance Weekend -- is up next!

A big thank-you to those who participated in the daily Bonny Knees contest, sponsored by local Des Moines area merchant, A Celtic Tradition. The winners received a prize, even.

For next weekend, the village will get a bit more romantic, so plan now to bring a loved one (or a potentially loved one). If the way to a man's (or woman's?) heart is through his (or her?) stomach, Canterbury may be an ideal place to be with wines from the Summerset Wine Villa, Crepe sandwiches (or ice cream, if you prefer) from Crepes and Creme, delectable chocolate goodies from the Two Wenches Coffee and Chocolate Shop, as well as an assortment of other tasty favorites. And let's not forget smoothies, sweet kettle corn, funnel cakes, Philly cheesesteak, pizza, hamburgers, homemade chips, curly fries, dragon tail tacos, Scotch eggs, sausage sandwiches, tenderloins, Chinese food, soup in a bread bowl, sorbet in fruit shells, ice cream sundaes, buffalo jerky, dogs and burgers, and, well, much much more.

And sure, plenty to drink, from sodas to domestic and imported beers, rum and cola, fresh-squeezed lemonade, hot apple cider, coffee, teas, chai, several types of wines, including mead, homemade root beer and cream soda...

There are plenty of other things in the village, too -- roses, jewelry, clothing, pottery, swords, metal crafts, geodes... So you have one more weekend to come out and explore!

We hope to see you there!

If you captured photos of the festival and would like to share them with others, let us know (by e-mailing the Webmaster) and we can place a link to your gallery.

Saturday, September 6 2008

8:41 PM - What a difference a week makes! A cool start to weekend 2! (posted by Webmaster)
One week later, and about twenty degrees cooler (or so it seemed!), the Celtic weekend of the Des Moines Renaissance Faire kicked off to some great crowds. There were a few moments of light drizzle -- enough for a few merchants to temporarily cover up some of their outdoor clothing displays -- but never enough to cause any impact on the festival. If Sunday's forecast ends up a bit damper, acts have a few covered pavilions to which they can be relocated, if necessary.

New for this weekend:

Check out the McCrakken Brother's Mad Scotsmen Golf Challenge, located just across the food shops on Dragon Way. It's golf like you've (fortunately!) never experienced.

Willie's Wenches are up on the castle drawbridge stage, with a "three-wenches, no waiting" (plus Willie) take on their boss William Shakespeare's work.

Wrapsody Aerialist is back, in both a drum shop on High Street, and on the main stage with some stilt walking and acrobatic demonstrations.

Searching for Shakespeare shows that the Bard is alive and well, as they take the stages (and sometimes lanes!) during the day for some classic theater.

Molly and the Tinker play all over the place, and the Creative Fusion Dance Company jingles.

But what about the Celtic theme? Bagpipes were heard, and Celtic Highland Games demos were held during the day. A few new Celtic themed merchants also joined us, and of course our own Scots Dragon shows -- daily -- how to get in (and hopefully out of) a Great Kilt.

There was even a real wedding on site today in front of the castle -- huzzah to the newlyweds! (Apparently, there was also a proposal at opening gate, and she said yes. Anyone have details?) This, along with the Royal Courts wedding (we now have a King) made it a quite romantic day, especially considering Romance Weekend isn't until next weekend! (And if you missed the Royal wedding, we have it on good authority that the ceremony will repeat again on Sunday ... and next weekend...)

And did I mention it was a much cooler day today? So much cooler that the Two Wenches Coffee shop did much better business with their hot drinks, and the Smoothies shop was able to offer hot cider. Huzzah for hot options!

So, one more day to go, then one more weekend until they pack us all back up in to boxes and put us away until next year.

Won't you come join the fun?

Thursday, September 4 2008

7:29 PM - Celtic weekend: Bonny Knees Contest??? (posted by Webmaster)
bonny: very pleasing to the eye; "my bonny lass"; "there's a bonny bay beyond"

How are your knees? Do you like them? Are you ready to show them off? Then join us this Saturday and Sunday at 4:00 p.m. at the Royal Court Pavilion as the Court helps judge A Celtic Tradition's "Bonny Knees Contest." We even hear there may be a prize for the most bonny knees seen.

(A Celtic Tradition is a Des Moines-area Celtic-themed business that will be joining us as a Village Marketplace merchant for weekend 2, Sept. 6/7th - "Highlanders, Celts & Lucky Lasses".)

Don't have your own kilt? You can buy one at the festival (and other clothing items). Come on out, rain or shine!

Tuesday, September 2 2008

8:53 PM - Publicity page updated (TV clips). (posted by Webmaster)
A few links to local TV news articles and segments has been posted to the Publicity page.

6:23 PM - One down, two to go... (posted by Webmaster)
Opening weekend is now in the past, with more fun yet to be had over the next two weekends. Each weekend has a different theme, so returning visitors will see some new acts rotated in (see the Entertainment page; schedule coming later this week). There will also be further minor tweaks to the Festival Park site, and and updated map showing the activities and other items (like pony rides, archery, torture chamber, rides and games, faery realm, etc.).

The feedback form for 2008 is now online, so if you visited, please take a moment to send us your thoughts. So much improvement to the event has directly come from comments submitted to Sleepy Hollow and Festivals International, and with your continued suggestions, we hope to grow this event every year.

Boars Head Leather may have more mugs to sell this weekend, and there are still some pewter medallions available. And although Potter's House sold out last year, there are currently more ceramic mugs and coffee cups available. (Most merchants will take special orders if they are out of stock on anything. Don't see it? Just ask!)

See you in a few days!