Until Sunday, I was a Renaissance Faire virgin. Growing up in New York City, I had never heard of a Renaissance Faire. All that changed on Sunday when I headed out to Irwindale to the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire. It’s THE original. The fair that started it all. After reading Rachel Rubin’s post on the Which Way LA? Blog, I knew I had to go. Rubin explains that the fair was “a major engine for California’s early counterculture.” Founded in 1963 by Laurel Canyon residents, the Renaissance Faire created a community of “Rennies,” whose impact would be felt for decades to come:
Along the way, they formed new cultural movements, helping create an important early 1960s craft revival, for instance, and becoming central to a sea change in American music. Thanks to Southern California’s cultural wells—music programs in the state university system, beatnik coffeehouses, the entertainment industry, even sensory lessons learned from the Acid Tests—the faire helped a generation of Americans discover multiple musical forms, especially early music and “world” music.
These days, the Renaissance Pleasure Faire combines the free spirit of California with costumes, alcohol and food (mostly meat). Here are some of my pics of food from the Faire:
My expectations weren’t high when it came time for lunch. I ate a burrito from the Mangia truck (the one food truck allowed). It was good. But the Boddingtons – mead – apricot cider concoction was excellent. Perfect for a hot, dusty day at the faire.