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397,294 visits (6 today, 37 this week, 157 this month, 2,766 this year, 6 yesterday. Best day was 277f visitors.)

Our tip jar:

Iowa-area festivals as of 7/23/14 :

May 3-4:
12th annual
Nebraska Ren Faire
Omaha, NE

May 10-11:
12th annual
Nebraska Ren Faire
Omaha, NE

May 17-18:
7th annual
Dubuque Ren Faire
Dubuque, IA

Labor Day Weekend:
23rd annual
Iowa Ren Fest

Amana Colonies, IA

June 7-8:
13th annual
Siouxland Ren Fest
Sioux Falls, SD
Tristate Ren Faire
Keokuk, IA

June 27-28:
30th annual
Riverside, IA

August 9-10:
3rd annual
IA-MN Pirate Fest
Clear Lake, IA

August 23-24:
7th annual
Midlands Pirate Fest
Omaha, NE

Mem Day Weekend:
12th annual
Des Moines Ren Faire
Des Moines, IA

September 6-7:
12th annual
Des Moines Ren Faire

Des Moines, IA

September 13-14:
12th annual
Des Moines Ren Faire
Des Moines, IA

Oct 4-5:
11th annual
Sioux City Riverssance
Sioux City, IA

Oct 10-11, 2015
new event
Greater Quad Cities Ren Faire
Orion, IL

If you are in the Iowa-region and want to be listed here, let me know!

To find other upcoming festivals, visit Mike Bonk's directorie.

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The Pub Mug If you would like to support AtTheFaire, and promote your Renaissance festival related group, business or service, drop me a note! We could use the coins in our tip jar!
Latest Headline as of Saturday, 28-Nov-2015 19:32:20 CST :
8/28/2015 - Twitter: @atthefaire
134 days until ATF's 15th Anniversary! (Domain registered on 4/11/2000, though we started posting RenFest photos in 1997!)

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Latest News!
Check this news page daily! The most recent 14 news items from the past two weeks will be available on this front page. For older items, be sure to see the news archives. If you have any festival news, rumors, or announcements, be sure to let us know so we can post it here.

Friday, August 28, 2015 12:08PM
AtTheFaire icon 12:08 PM - Twitter: @atthefaire (posted by JohnPaul )
I guess I have never mentioned we have a Twitter account:

Friday, July 31, 2015 1:10PM
(default) icon 1:10 PM - Des Moines blog (not Ren related) (posted by JohnPaul )
I a just posting this so it gets indexed and pushed up in the Google indexes quicker... But if you are in the Des Moines area, or are in to bicycling, you are welcome to click.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 1:42PM
FestivalNews icon 1:42 PM - Midlands Pirate Fest May 30-31, 2015 - NEW LOCATION (posted by JohnPaul )

-News Release-
"Regional Festival Moves to New Waters"

The 8th annual Midlands Pirate Festival will be moving to a new location and a different season, this year. The ideally suited River City Star Landing (formerly Millers Landing) on the downtown Omaha/Missouri River water front will be the new host of the popular event. The up-coming Spring weekend of May 30th & 31st (from 11am to 6pm) will be the festival's new timeframe.

Festivals International's producer-director, Gregory Schmidt, will be turning the creative reins over to Omaha entrepreneur Steve Lindzy in order to enhance the activities and shows. Lindzy's 'Royale Pirates of Tortuga' kids show will be one of the featured stage acts. He will present this musical extravaganza on the lower level of the 4-deck Kon-Tiki-O party barge.

Some of the other professional touring acts to appear on the 5 entertainment stages will be the Bawdy Buccaneers from Des Moines, two different magician and illusion shows, the Pog-Mo-Thon pub band from Lincoln featuring Texas fiddler 'Lala', a showcase of some of the area's combined belly-dancing troupes, Capt. Johnson's Sideshow Circus, a presentation on famous women pirates and a variety of famous characters from nautical lore and Hollywood fantasy.

One of the most unique shows will be a "pirate" stand-up comedy routine by Omaha native Christina Marie Leonard, who will be flying in from doing television and film work in Hollywood.

Other aspects of this "family fun" fest will be the Blue Rose Mermaid in her lagoon pond, the Forking Queen of the Pirates with her kids street theater, plus children's lawn games with prizes.

Additional activities involve treasure hunts, tattoo contests for adults, costume contests for children and games of skill such as knife-tossing.
There will be a 'thieve's market' merchant bazaar with artisans and specialty crafters selling anything from custom-designed jewelry to swords and nautical souvenirs.

Also on hand will be a selection of foods and drink libations at the renowned Tiki Bar.

The public will be able to access the discounted rides on the River City Star Riverboat Cruise at 12-noon, 2:00 and 4:00 each day. These added attraction tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for military and kids under 13.
Admission to the Midlands Pirate Festival is $10 for adults and $5 for kids from 5 to 15 with tots free. There will be a half-price discount for active military personnel. Parking will be free.

All tickets will be purchased right at the entrance gate during festival hours - 11am to 6pm.

For location information see or call #402-342-7827. For event details go to or contact


Greg Schmidt
Tami Bader
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 8:09PM
FestivalNews icon 8:09 PM - Omaha, NE RenFest/PirateFest news (posted by JohnPaul )
Omaha, NE update ... First, the former location of the Nebraska Renaissance Faire (Bellevue Berry Farm) has decided to do their own Renaissance event this year (thus the change of name to Renaissance Festival of Nebraska). It has no connection with Neb Faire, but they did an agreement of some kind which is why Neb Faire has not relocated for this year. Neb Faire is supposed to return in a new location (location #4 for the event) in 2016.

Next, the Midlands Pirate Festival has moved to a new location as well -- River City Star Landing in Omaha -- on May 30-31, 2015. See for details. However, as of earlier today, the Bellevue Pumpkin Ranch website was listing Midlands Pirate Fest as happening there in September (the same weekend of pirate weekend for the Des Moines Renaissance Faire). They have not updated the website yet to reflect that it is not the Midlands Pirate Festival, but will be an entirely new event done by the ranch in conjunction with their other Fall activities (rolling right in to their huge Halloween event).

This gives Omaha a brand new Renaissance Faire, a new pirate event, and the return of the original pirate event in a new location all for 2015. Next year should see two Renaissance festivals and likely two pirate events, depending on how they both do.

Historically in our area, every time someone has tried to take over an event when it shut down or moved or changed dates, it has not worked out. When NebFaire moved from Scary Acres to the Ranch, Midwest Ren Fest was started up by Scary Acres. It only ran a few years. There was another event in Iowa that started up when the Iowa Ren Fest moved to the spring, and it too only lasted a few years. It's a tough market, so if you want to see more events, go to them all and support them.
Monday, March 30, 2015 8:27AM
FestivalNews icon 8:27 AM - Fire at Des Moines Renaissance Faire (posted by JohnPaul )
Des Moines TV station KCCI is reporting a small fire at the Des Moines Renaissance Faire site last night:

From the photos, the two buildings look to be Ye Old Pizzas, Off With Your Bread (soup in a bread bowl shop) and the Bavarian Cafe (larger red building, German food) at the start of the food court lane. The article says the damage is estimated at $10,000.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 8:19AM
News icon 8:19 AM - Pirates of the Carribean 5 (posted by JohnPaul )
I have been out of the loop for years, and had no idea they had started shooting Pirates of the Caribbean part 5 until I read headlines of Johnny Depp hurting his hand on set.

I did not know about part 4 either until someone at the Des Moines Renaissance Faire (was it Captain Rick?) told me it was in the works.

The articles quote a release date of July 7, 2017.
Thursday, February 19, 2015 12:31PM
FestivalNews icon 12:31 PM - KCRF easter egg hunt with booze. (posted by JohnPaul )
A press release was sent out announcing an adult easter egg hunt with booze on the grounds of the Kansas City Renaissance Festival.

There was a time when KC supported a huge Renaissance festival full of Renaissance-themed acts. Over the year, the popularity of such events seems to have declined so much that today, the schedule has things like "pet weekend" and Oktoberfest as well as other things not associated with Renaissance. They had also done other seasonal events like a zombie marathon race, and now an easter egg hug.

To the old KCRF, we miss you. There is a new generation growing up that has never known it from when it was strictly a Renaissance festival.

Ya gotta do what ya gotta do to keep the lights on. There used to be six individual Renaissance festivals a year in Iowa, but those days are gone.

News icon 7:02 AM - Pirates of the Caribbean 5 (posted by JohnPaul )
Welcome back, Captain.
Friday, November 21, 2014 6:32PM
FestivalNews icon 6:32 PM - Magridal Banquet in Clear Lake, Iowa (posted by JohnPaul )

-News Release-

-for immediate

"Inaugural Banquet with Entertainment"

To celebrate St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6th) and the 20th anniversary of Christmas by the Lake, the Best Western Holiday Lodge in association with North Iowa Civic Theater will present the first 'Holiday Madrigal Banquet'. This Christmas themed feast along with an array of performers will take place after the fireworks on that saturday night of Clear Lake's festive weekend.

This theater-in-the-round traditional olde-English banquet will be set in the Victorian era and will include pre-show contest games, a multi-course meal of unique servings, a cash bar, and professional Renaissance festival performers from around the region.

The performing roster will feature Queen Victoria & Prince Albert, Gilbert O'Sullivan as master of ceremonies, magician Lord Drake, an authentic 'Punch & Judy' puppet show, singer Katia del Rio as Eliza Doolittle, the Mixed Doubles Twins with their "Sherlock Holmes" comedy, the swordplay stunt show by Sons of the Mist, strolling minstrels & vocalists, a juggler, comic characters and surprise shenanigans.

The seating will be at round tables of eight settings for individuals, couples, groups or company parties. Tickets will be $30 per person, and must be reserved/purchased in advance.

The doors open at 6:30pm for early seating choices and a half-hour of warm-up games, contests and libations. The main food courses and floor show acts start at 7:00 with the banquet expected to conclude by 8:30.

"We'd like to take the traditional madrigal banquet to another level, and present it as a dinner feast with theatricals. It'll be somewhat of an indoor Renaissance faire with a nostalgic expression for Christmas of old," states the event's producer Gregory Schmidt, who runs four Renaissance festivals around the Upper Midwest.

Interested attendees to the inaugural 'Holiday Madrigal Banquet' can secure their tickets and seating by contacting Mandy VanVoorhis at the Best Western Holiday Lodge via or tel. #641-357-5253 ext 488.


CONTACT: Greg Schmidt
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 6:55PM
News icon 6:55 PM - ABC's upcoming musical Renaissance comedy (posted by JohnPaul )
ABC is rapidly becoming the Renaissance/fairy tale network, with shows like Once Upon a Time (and the Wonderland spinoff), The Quest reality series, and coming soon.... Galavant - the music epic, with music by Alan Menken who did many great modern Disney animated classic music.

Check out the trailer.

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Festivals: Merchants: Performers: Everything Else:
  1. Des Moines Ren Faire (IA)
  2. Four Kingdoms Festival (IL)
  3. Hamlet of Mid Missouri (MO)
  4. Iowa Ren Festival (IA)
  5. Nebraska Ren Faire (NE)
  6. Greater Quad Cities Ren Faire (IL)
  7. Wild West "Family Fun" Fest (IA)

Host your site with ATF and be listed here! $50/year (and the publicity is free!)

Permanent festivals in our area: Kansas City Renaissance Festival, Bristol Renaissance Faire, Des Moines Renaissance Faire and Minnesota Renaissance Festival.
Other ATF sites: