Contacts: Greg Schmidt, 641-357-5177
Max Kenkel, 515-262-4100
*Photos & Video available

DES MOINES - The Des Moines Renaissance Faire will celebrate its 5th year at the custom-designed ‘merry olde England’ theme park by presenting three different weekends of unique entertainment and history. Dubbed Canterbury-on-Sherwood, this expansive castle town will host the themed weekends, entitled “Knights, Barbarians & Heroes” (September 4-6th), “Scots, Britons & Irish” (September 11-12th), and “Pirates, Persians & Buccaneers” (September 18-19th).

Like the legendary Scottish village of Brigadoon, the Des Moines metro area’s newest fun park cannot be seen by light of day, nor from its 4051 Dean Avenue approach. In fact, it hides behind an impressive wall of trees at the backside of the popular Sleepy Hollow Sports Park on the border of Pleasant Hill. Only once people cross the 75-foot troll bridge over the panoramic river can they begin to view a true architectural wonder. In the heartland there lies an assembly of 40 quaint shops, a Main Street plaza, 12 food pavilions, a beer garden and wine villa, a jousting arena, a huge faerie treehouse, six grand stages for entertainment, a tavern pub and feasting hall, a combat zone, a pony-ride trail, archery range, various gaming concessions and skills challenges, two living history realms, and the region’s largest castle with a torture chamber tour inside of it.

The Des Moines Renaissance Faire offers a lot of everything. On one hand you have women in tight corsets and rum enough for even the filthiest pirate. On the other hand you have a Children’s Realm with a giant tree house, puppet stage, and plenty of G-rated acts for the entire family.

Boasting over 25 stage shows daily, as well as demonstrations, exhibits, hands-on activities, and strolling acts, the DMRF is actually presented as the European State Fair of the 16th Century. With the showcasing of numerous new performing groups and village characters from around the Midwest, it also features the return of popular national acts, such as the equestrian jousting show “Joust Evolution”, the adult comedy faerie tale “Charming & Dashing”, the “Scrap-n-Wolf Fire Comedy” and the “Three Musketeers” show.

The entertainment focus this year will be in the Burning Man tradition with a variety of acts doing fire juggling, fire dance, fire breathing and choreography with fire. Plus, several lines of artworks will be created on-site from live fire.

This year’s Des Moines Renaissance Faire is being celebrated nationally with a cover photo and 12-page color photo spread in the current issue of ‘Renaissance’ Magazine.

“With the help of the management at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, we’ve been able to mount a multi-weekend event that people from as far away as Kansas City and Minneapolis are now attending as their annual tradition,” festival producer Gregory Schmidt brags.

“This is the big kahuna of history fun festivals in our region. And to hold that status we are adding more food novelties, new music groups and ten more artisan crafters to the merchant village.”

Admission is $16 for adults, $8.50 for kids from 5 to 12, with tots free. The two-day pass is $25 and the season pass for all seven days is $35. These prices already include sales tax. There will be $2-off adult tickets available in advance at metro area Hy-Vee stores.

For detailed festival information go to or or (641) 357-5177. For directions and location information go to or or (515) 262-4100.