PERFECT MOMENT: Is there an ideal time of the year to throw a renaissance faire? Spring and autumn seem to be popular times, with the occasional summer fling in the mix. Winter is rarer, which is too bad; organizers should reconsider a snowy soiree, a party that might give revelers the chance to grow bigger beards and sing of sleigh rides and the yuletide. We suppose this happens, a tad, at the annual Bracebridge Dinner at The Ahwahnee in Yosemite (so huzzah to that). Ultimately, though, the most excellent time of year for jousting and jesting and mirthing and barding doesn't belong to any single date or weekend but a series of dates. People who love a good ren faire love, without fail, a series of good ren faires that all come in a row. And lucky for Northern California that happens to be the case. The mondo NorCal Renaissance Faire lands again at Case de Fruta in the middle of September, and Folsom's festivity arrives in October. But much, much sooner? It's San Jose, which dons its doublets on Saturday, Aug. 3 and Sunday, Aug. 4.
THE YE OLDE SPOT... is Guadalupe River Green. And the suit-of-armor-y haps? Plentiful, family-nice, and very classic for a classic ren faire. The gnawing of turkey legs, the watching of knights do battle, the listening to madrigals sung and old ditties played on lutes, the enjoying of magicians and street performers. Oh, and the costumes, which are plentiful and impressive. This is one reason we say that it is a nice thing to have so many regional ren faires come one after another: Many attendees work hard on their velvety-ruff looks and they'd like to parade this year's costume at a few more faires. Truth? If you've spent hours building a queenly hoop skirt, by gum, you want to show it off.
An adult admission is eighteen dollars and parking at HP Pavilion is $5.