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

News Archive

September 2011

Monday, September 19 2011

11:03 AM - Looking back, looking forward! (posted by Webmaster)
Huzzah! The 9th Des Moines Renaissance Faire (and 6th held at its permanent home at Festival Park) has now concluded. Thank you for helping us make this one of the best events yet -- and please do take a moment to send in your feedback so we can start planning for 2012.

More announcements to come... But now, we have to get all those Renaissance banners down and begin the three week transformation process that will turn Festival Park into the Sleepy Hollow Haunted Scream Park, which will run the last four weekends in October.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, September 14 2011

3:20 PM - PRESS RELEASE - Pirate Weekend! (posted by Webmaster)
News Release

"Pirates, Scallywags and Buccaneers"

With the 9th annual DES MOINES RENAISSANCE FAIRE looking at record attendance, so far this month, the third weekend of themed entertainment turns a twist on history.  Yes, Des Moines will see something of an invasion of pirate re-enactors and fans of all things nautical this saturday and sunday (Sept. 17/18th).

With the Capt. Morgan Pirate Ship stage and ten other entertainment venues filling up the olde English castle town, behind Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, there will be a significant variety of different things to see on the festival's closing weekend.

Iowa's own touring comedy juggling show, two poop deck swabbies known as Kids with Fire, will host the other unique stage shows in the shaded Pirates Cove entertainment realm.  They'll be joined by performing groups from other distant festivals.  Barnacle & Scuttlebutt from Colorado and Minnesota, The Bawdy Buccaneers from Kansas, and Pirates of the Black Flag from Omaha will help transform the stages and village lanes to a land of both history and fantasy.

The Midwest's most highly-rated living history and folklife demonstrations group - the Medieval and Renaissance Society - will also be presenting with a multi-faceted "open museum" tent village.

With most all of the other cast members, stage performers and of course the equestrian jousting spectacle returning, the Renaissance faire continues to provide "family friendly" edutainment into weekend #3.

Added to the fun and piratey adventures will also be Danza Mystique with belly dancing, Friendly Fire with pyrotechnic stunts and an authentic hurdy-gurdy player.

The Tavern will come alive with Orckes & Trolles reveling over the wide variety of beverages and libations. Plus, the Canterbury-on-Sherwood merchants will all be back in full force, which includes 20 food and novelty treat shops that will ensure much more than just the popular turkey leg tradition.

Two-day passes will still be available for both concluding days of festing. Discounts can be had at metro Hy-Vee stores or with a coupon from most area Casey's General Stores.

Location and directions information can be found at, while event details can be found at

Monday, September 12 2011

8:22 AM - 2 down, 1 more to go! Pirates! (posted by Webmaster)
Weekend two of this year's Des Moines Renaissance Faire has concluded, and the weather was excellent (though a bit warm on Sunday for those of us in sevel layers of costume).

Feedback has been coming in, and we have been trying to implement as many suggestions as we can between weekends (such as trying to decorate the bridge a bit more, and adjust picnic table seating and other things folks have mentioned). With your feedback, the event will continue to improve.

Please take a moment to fill out the feedback form (located on the lower left of the "scroll" menu on every page of the site). It is very important we learn more about what folks like, and even dislike, so we can focus on making this event the best it can be.

$2 off coupons may still be available at area Casey's stores, as well as discounted tickets purchased in advance at Hy-Vees. (Call them to verify before making a trip as they do run out.) If you purchase the ticket up front, you can just walk up to the entrance tower and trade them in for an armband, instead of having to wait in a potentially long line to buy tickets.

The entertainment will once again rotate out for the third weekend as the pirates take over and ransack the village of Canterbury-on-Sherwood. We invite everyone to come out this final weekend for a piratey good time, and feel free to wear your favorite pirate themed T-shirt, or even dress up head to toe if you want! (We will be!) Join in the fun! (And at the DMRF, the rum is NEVER gone! Unless we run out. Which usually happens on pirate weekend, for some reason.)

In addition to new entertainment, there will also be some new merchants coming in for the final weekend, AND, if time permits, a special "pirate edition" of the new-for-2011 Dungeon Tour. This five minute tour has been quite a hit this year, and has lines during much of the day. Since we plan to continually update the show inside the torture chamber, we encourage you to check it out -- the original version from opening weekend has already been replaced with a version 2, and this pirate makeover is our first experiment to see how easy we can update the overall experience. (Maybe next year, we will have a custom version fo each themed weekend.)

The free Treasure Hunt has also been quite popular, even with adults! It lets you explore the whole village trying to answer those blasted questions. Your first goal is to find the Treasure Hunt booth in the Village Marketplace... Look for the map on the post!

And finally ... some money saving reminders. In addition to ticket discounts, inside the festival are some very good values. Did you know about the $1 "pizza buns" at the pizza place? It's a great snack (or several make a filling meal). Did you know you can get homemade rootbeer for $1 (cheap refills if you have a bottle, or ask about buying just a cup)? And, many mercahnts have very low cost trinkets for you to purchase for $5 or less -- a great way to bring home a unique souvenir! (I personally picked up a chainmaille ring this past weekend.) You can even sample items for free at many locations -- this past weekend, there were samples of Summerset wine, Poppin Outback kettle corn, Smoothies, Rootbeer and much more. If you are curious, it never hurts to ask for a sample!

So... Round up all your pirates and come see us, this weekend, before the event closes until September 2012!

Thursday, September 8 2011

10:51 AM - Feedback wanted! (posted by Webmaster)
If you attended our opening weekend, please take a moment to fill out the Feedback form (see the "scroll" menu on the left of this page) and let us know how your experience was.

So far, we have had some great compliments (to be posted on our testimonials page, no doubt), some great suggestions, and several requests. We'd love to hear your thoughts as well!

Wednesday, September 7 2011

3:52 PM - 3 down, 4 to go! (posted by Webmaster)
The first three days of the 2011 Des Moines Renaissance Faire have come and gone, but four more still remain! Festival Park will open its gates again from 10am to 6pm this coming Saturday and Sunday for our Celtic themed weekend. Got a kilt? Here is a place to wear it! Want a kilt? Here is a place to buy it! Want some haggis? You are on your own! (Though, Ames British Foods, one of our food shops, can help you out there...)

On opening Saturday, the rain (which we always seem to get) brought us some familiar mud (since dried up), but the weather was absolutely wonderful the next two days. We are hoping this coming weekend will be as nice (and cooler temperatures are always welcome by our cast, wearing seven layers of costume).

Will you join us? The entertainment schedule is being assembled tonight, and will be finalized Friday morning before it goes to print. New acts will be with us, to change things up a bit from last weekend.

And the season pass is still available! If you wanted to drop by for the four remaining days, that makes your attendance under $9/day ($35 for the pass) -- about half of the cost of a full price single day ticket! (But if you know that discount tickets are for sale, and $2 off coupons are available, you can certainly save money on the single day tickets... But we do not mind if you pay full price.)

Come enjoy the fun! And our Dungeon Tour seemed to be popular, so we are continuing to adjust the show to get tours through more efficiently. After being a "hidden" attraction for several years, it is now something that seems to get a line throughout much of the day -- huzzah!

I'll be in the tavern.

Saturday, September 3 2011

8:04 PM - Note to performers... (posted by Webmaster)
Performers: All performers will need to park in the asphalt lot on east 30 between Walnut and Logan where the dart buses go at the state fairgrounds.

For everyone else... We are saving the good parking for you!

6:08 PM - Mrchant info for Sunday (posted by Webmaster)
Merchants: Due to rain today, only food merchants behind food court tomorrow. Also, no vehicles in Festival Park until it dries. Looks like great weather tomorrow!

Friday, September 2 2011

9:44 PM - We are ready for you! (posted by Webmaster)
Today, merchants were moving in and setting up their shops... Sleepy Hollow workers were putting up walls, moving stages, and clearing out debris. Festival Park management was getting stage signs set up, as well as road and entrance signs... Even the Dungeon Tour (aka Torture Chamber) was "dirty" and ready to go online for the first public visitors...

The Rum Boat will be selling burgers, hot dogs, fries and... Rum and cola!

Spartan Sandwiches will have sandwiches of various kinds (including vegetarian offerings) as well as gyros and fajitas.

There are some new drinks to try at the Bavarian Cafe!

And we hear there will be MEAD at Summerset Wine Garden! Drop in for a sample, the take home as bottle.

We will have a first time kettle popcorn vendor, with their own special recipe for you to try! And a blacksmith down in the forest joining us to demonstrate and offer hand made soaps (hey, they have to clean up at some point).

We are ready for you. Buy a season pass and then come and go as you please over the seven day season... At $35, that's $5 per day, so if you skip a day, it's a small investment - like the price of a large, really good coffee drink. (Yes, the festival folks make far less money per visit this way, but it's a great way to make the event much more casual fun For the guests - drop in just for a turkey leg and to watch the joust!)

And the more we get to know you, the more we can entertain you!

Please come out and join the fun!

Thursday, September 1 2011

7:31 PM - Weekend 1 schedule...completed? (posted by Webmaster)
Unless any more changes come in tonight, the entertainment schedule we have posted (linked from the Entertainment page) should be the final one for this weekend. But, check again on Friday, just to be sure. Any changes not made before it goes to the print shop Friday won't make it to the festival ;-)