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After many years of "finding something else to do," and listening to my family talk about the good times to be enjoyed, I finally was able to attend the 2017 Northern California Renaissance Faire, held at Casa de Fruta Orchard Resort during early September to early October, each year.  

Photo:  The Northern California Renaissance Faire is held each year at the Casa de Fruita Orchard Resort.  We elected to camp, as it's relaxing, the camp ground is a five-minute walk from the faire, and you don't have to pay the $10.00 to park, and you don't have to worry about acquiring a DUI on the way home.  The only negative aspect is there is a two-night minimum, and a place to put your tent costs nearly as much as an inexpensive motel room. We rented four spots, side by side, to besides a fun time at the faire, this weekend was like a mini family reunion.

We arrived early Friday afternoon, September 30, 2017, set up camp, and relaxed.  Dinner consisted of grilled chicken and carne asada tacos, fresh salsa, tortillas and beans.  

Kim shows Michael that she really knows how to grill chicken, as Michael provides the lighting.  We used a low-tech charcoal grill with oak wood for smoke flavor.  Dinner worked out great!

Photo:  We got up early the next morning, and were greeted by a flock of colorful neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Peacock, along with their offspring.  Derric takes a photo of Mr. Peacock, as Greg looks on.  If you look in the background of the photo, you can see that we're camped next to the faire, and it was only a five-minute walk from our camp to the gate.

Photo:  We opened up the faire on Saturday morning, September 30, 2017 at a little past 10 in the morning.  Casa de Fruta is an excellent place to hold this event, as when you pass through the gate, you're instantly transported to Europe, circa 1600.

Photo:  Since this was my first renaissance faire, I didn't know what to expect, and I didn't want to invest in a costume, but many of my family members are seasoned veterans, and wear period clothes.  Note to self:  I absolutely LOVED this event, and I plan to acquire a costume to wear.

My sister, Bonnie, her hubby, Greg, my brother, Michael, and his charming wife, Margie.

Photo:  Margie and Kim enjoy the faire.  As this photo, and many other photos show, about half the attendees are dressed in costume, which definitely adds to the festive atmosphere.

Photo:  If you like beer and wine, you've come to the right place, but bring a full wallet.  At Chateau d'If, one of the several beer and wine booths, they had something going on where a customer tried to drink from the glass, as the server poured the beer, and to drink the beer as fast as she could pour it.

Photo:  I love this mother and daughter dressed in period costumes.

Photo:  Just before lunch time, in the grandstand, a show was performed that included mounted ladies trying to place wooden swords into a dummy, and later a jousting demonstration by faux knights.  Most activities, including the many shows and the nightly Celtic concert are free of charge, so the $28.00 price of admission is reasonable, and the event is lots of fun.

Photo:  If I was the dummy I wouldn't want to mess with these determined ladies.  There were several mounted ladies, and they provided quite a show.

Photo:  After the ladies finished, out came the knights.  The idea was to put the lance through one of the loops, which basically simulated a renaissance jousting tournament, but with 2017, and OSHA - my idea - in mind.  The Knight of Scotland begins his run.  He'll turn the circle, point his lance straight ahead of him, bring his horse to a full gallop and try to put the lance through one of the hanging loops.

Photo:  The Knight of Spain and the Knight of France each received flowers from spectators after repeatedly putting their lances through the loops.

Photo:  Besides the many craft booths, activities, concerts, and countless other things to see and do, there are many performers walking around, providing lots of entertainment, and doing crazy things.  Just outside the horse arena, I came upon this gal who was propped up by a bale of straw in a simulated "passed out" state.  I noticed many dollar bills placed in her bosom, so I just had to contribute the cause.

Photo:  Watching a jousting tournament makes for hungry work, so when the entertainment was finished, we headed for the food booths, where are located near the entrance.  There are many booths that offer many varities of food, including such great choices as shepherd's pie, fish and chips, gyros and haggis.  There are more, shall we say, conventional varieties of food available too.  I had my heart set on haggis, as I've always wanted to try it, but, alas, the booth that had advertised it on their menu wasn't selling it today.  Darn!  So the cannibal in me came out, and I decided to visit the Turkey Leg booth, which exclusively sells grilled turkey legs.

Photo:  Girls are carnivores too, as can be seen by this young lady, who has already taken a couple of bites out of her turkey leg.

Photo:  "Mr. Turkey Leg" grins, as I snap his photo, as he poses with my turkey leg.

Photo:  I pose with my lunch, as I'm a happy carnivore.  The girl behind me seems to approve, as she raises her pink cell phone in salute, and no doubt in anticipation of the feast she'll soon be enjoying.

Photo:  There are many entertainers walking around in costume that, well, provide entertainment.  This gal is a member of the "Dirt Laundry" show, and when she's not performing on state, she provides entertainment.

As I was walking back to join our group, turkey leg in hand, she approached me and commented how great it was, and what I "man" I was to eat such a thing.  I invited her to share it with me, and I got Greg to take a photo. I sure do love doing crazy stuff like this!

Photo:  To complete your renaissance costume, there is a booth that sells replica, non-working firearms.  It looks like the pirate in front of me seems to be interested in a flintlock pistol.

Photo:  During the afternoon, the streets got quite crowded, but it wasn't at all inconvenient.  Weather wise, today was an interesting day, as the weather this time of year is usually quite warm, but today, the weather was on the cool side, and very pleasant.

Photo:  The "Merry Wives of Windsor" perform Celtic numbers at the "21 and Over" stage.

Photo:  Before going to the nightly concert, we watched the "Merry Wives of Windsor" perform.  They provided a great show.

Photo:  Every evening, the final event of the faire is a Celtic Rock concert, and tonight's act was Culann's Hounds, who are part of the 2017 Celtic Rock Concert Series.  As can be expected, this fine band played Celtic music, with a lot of rock 'n roll mixed in.

Photo:  During the concert, many people left the seats and went in front of the stage, to be get close to the band. There was also lots of dancing in the arena, and a great time was enjoyed by everybody.  The concert was over around 7 in the evening, which gave us plenty of time to return to our camp, and make dinner.

Photo:  My sister is mostly a vegetarian, and all of us love veggie burgers, so Michael grilled veggie burgers, and we cooked a big pot of vegetarian chili.  Margie grabs a burger off the gas grill.  No charcoal grill tonight, as dinner was a little late and we wanted to keep things simple.

Photo:  Dinner tonight by propane lamp, at the campground at Casa de Fruta Orchard Resort.  We camped in the "Orchard" section of the campground, which is mostly tents, but allows motorhomes and trailers, but generators can't be used - thank goodness - in this section of the campground.  

That's my veggie burger and bowl of vegetarian chili in the center, foreground of the picture.

No, I didn't dress up, nor did I dress the part, but I enjoyed myself, and had a lot of fun at this great event.  Next year, I'll come dressed in true renaissance garb, which will make me a true veteran, or at least appear as one.

Northern California Renaissance Faire
10031 Pacheco Pass Highway
Hollister, CA 95023

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