HEAR YE, HEAR YE: The "what's new" section of any Renaissance Faire's site or promotional materials always charms the Dickens out of us. (We know, we know -- Dickens was waaay past Renaissance time, so it is merely a figure of speech.) Because, a great Renaissance Faire is all about what's not new. In fact, it is indeed about what is quite old, very antique, and several centuries gone. Still, an annual revelry should freshen up, from time to time, and the Northern California Renaissance Faire, which opens at Casa de Fruta on Saturday, Sept. 15, will do just that with two new areas: an Enchanted Garden area for "children and revelers of all ages" -- look for sprites and such -- and the Dockside Alley, which is very much for 21+ revelers as it will be full of ribald characters and various temptations. Good stuff, NorCal Renaissance Faire. Ye olde good stuff, indeed.
WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING: The monthlong faire, which will merrily sprawl at Casa de Fruta each weekend, has several ruff-wearing goings on, will feature swordfighting, theatricals, and merchants purveying in leather goods and jewelry and all items that summon a day when knights and jesters were common sights (or at least more common than nowadays). The weekends'll be themed, too, so be sure to peruse what each will be before setting out (the Bacchanal-Masquerade theme weekend falls on the last weekend of September, so don that garland or leaf-bedecked mask). A general admission ticket is $25 or a weekend pass is $35. Plus, Casa de Fruta near Hollister? What an autumnal location, if we might say, what with the apples and golden hills about. A perfect setting for jests and centuries-old lark-abouts, indeed.