There have been 144 unique villagers here within the past 24 hours. (And 9 of them are here right now...)
Latest ATF News: 4/9/2014 - Oklahoma Ren Fest 2014?
ATF Home ATF Shoppe Faire Folke Faire Info Faire Photos Faire Virgins The Pub Web Services
Search AtTheFaire

392,321 visits (7 today, 59 this week, 178 this month, 924 this year, 10 yesterday. Best day was 151 visitors.)

Our tip jar:

Official festival websites for events ATF may attend as of 5/7/11 :

Note: If you have an event in the Midwest, and you would like AtTheFaire to take photos there and write a recap for the Ren Reporter, drop me a note and we'll try to fit it in.

Unfortunately, due to finances, ATF has no plans to attend any events this year, currently. If you would like to sponsor a visit (so we could document your event with tons of photo, YouTube vidoes, etc. giving promotion for years to come), please contact us.

If you have an event in the surrounding Iowa region and would like it listed here, please contact us with details (event name, date, web link).

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

FastCounter by bCentral


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, 19-Apr-2014 17:23:30 CDT :
4/9/2014 - Oklahoma Ren Fest 2014?
357 days until ATF's 14th Anniversary! (Domain registered on 4/11/2000, though we started posting RenFest photos in 1997!)

ATF Renaissance Banner Network

Welcome new visitors!
At The Faire is a source for Midwest renaissance festival information. Click on a link in the castle wall to explore the major areas of this site: ATF Shoppe features our merchandise; Faire Folke is an index of festival performers, merchants and rennies; Faire Info contains articles, festival calendars, indexes and reviews; Faire Photos is our gallery of 61,603 festival pictures and movie clips; Faire Virgins contains information useful to those wanting to get more into faire; and Web Services gives details on our low-cost hosting and web design services for rennies, faires, and merchants. There is also a Live Photo Blog which will contain photos uploaded in real-time from we festivals we are visiting.

Random Quote: " "

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.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 10:53AM
AtTheFaire icon 10:53 AM - Oklahoma Ren Fest 2014? (posted by JohnPaul )
My day job is sending me to Oklahoma City in May, and I can't help but think it would be fun to save my company some money and stay over a Saturday night (at least that used to make plane tickets cheaper). That would let me get out to the Oklahoma Ren Fest.

Unfortunately, I am too broke to afford a rental car or hotel or even food right now, so that won't be happening. However, if some generous merchants at OKRF want to help fund a visit from AtTheFaire, let me know ;-)

OKRF remains my favorite festival, though I haven't been able to visit any events other than ones I have worked at for years:
Tuesday, January 7, 2014 1:48PM
News icon 1:48 PM - Ames, Des Moines, Iowa City: Drinking Geeks needed! (posted by JohnPaul )
This came in today:

Geeks Who Drink runs pub trivia quizzes in several states and they are coming to Iowa. They are looking to hire quizmasters (hosts, emcees, nerd wranglers etc...)

It's a paid weekly gig and it's a good fit for people who are skilled at working with a live audience and working with both structure and spontaneity, i.e. theater people, comedians, improv types, musicians. They provide the questions and the training, but the host has the freedom and the power to make the night their own.

Online application here:
Monday, December 16, 2013 10:03AM
News icon 10:03 AM - 2014 Madrigal banquet in Iowa (posted by JohnPaul )

-News Release-

In December of 2014 during the '20th anniversary' Christmas by the Lake weekend Gregory Schmidt, one of the founders of the event, and the staff of the Best Western Holiday Lodge will be presenting an inaugural Holiday Madrigal Banquet.

This theater-in-the-round traditional Olde-English feast will be set in the Victorian theme and include a multi-course meal, beverages and an array of professional entertainment. The acts will include a wide variety from music groups to comedy theater and classic characters. It will be designed with the "heart-warming" ambiance of Madrigal banquets and holiday feasts that have been established at universities around the Upper Midwest.

The production team hopes this dinner-theater banquet will become an annual offering for people who enjoy the Christmas by the Lake experience. It will be open for reservations to individuals, couples, families, clubs, business groups and company Christmas parties.

The first Holiday Madrigal Banquet is set for saturday, Dec. 6th, seating and warm-up games start at 6:30pm with the main courses and floor shows beginning at 7pm. Interested parties can contact Mandy VanVoorhis at the Best Western Holiday Lodge via or tel. #641-357-5253 ext 488.


CONTACT: Greg Schmidt
Lori Faught
Monday, September 23, 2013 9:14AM
News icon 9:14 AM - Haunted House season in Iowa... (posted by JohnPaul )
This is a test to see how quickly I can get a link in to Google. I have a haunted house index site ( and one of the local attractions has a website which seems to be invisible to Google and Bing. This is just a test to see how many days it takes to show up after I link from it here. (They have had the site a month or more, and it's still pretty difficult to find.)

White Water University - Des Moines, Iowa
Friday, September 20, 2013 1:30PM
FestivalNews icon 1:30 PM - Tri-State Ren Faire in Keokuk, Iowa? (posted by JohnPaul )
Hey, anyone been to this? It's been going on for five years and I think this is the first time I've heard of it. It sounds familiar -- did we mention this a few years ago when it started, and just didn't hear from anyone who visited?

Information requested, please.
Wednesday, September 4, 2013 12:47AM
Photos icon 12:47 AM - 63,228 (posted by JohnPaul )
That will be the count of the ATF photo gallery when I get the latest update done. This will be the first update since Spring 2012, adding Des Moines Ren Faire 2012, Midlands Pirate Festival 2013 and Des Moines Ren Faire 2013. There are still two more weekends for Des Moines, so I expect more photos to be added when I get around to it.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013 6:23PM
Humor icon 6:23 PM - Coca Cola radio ad featuring Renaissance festival (posted by JohnPaul )
Has anyone heard the Coca Cola radio ad about the guy at a Renaissance festival trying to buy a Coke? It's playing across the US right now (I got a copy from a friend of mine at a station in another state), and I first heard it in Des Moines this past week.

Sunday, August 11, 2013 10:22PM
FestivalNews icon 10:22 PM - Epic TV ad for Des Moines Renaissance Faire (posted by JohnPaul )
I love it when something fun like this is put together. Usually it's just montages of jousting with a voiceover.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 2:32PM
FestivalNews icon 2:32 PM - Omaha - Midlands Pirate Festival (posted by JohnPaul )

August 24-25th (11am to 6pm)
Bellevue Berry/Pumpkin Ranch
Adults - $10, Kids - $6, Tots free

This 7th annual "family fun fest" will showcase the region's growing theme park with it's full-scale ship, numerous stages and treasure hunt cave. Numerous shows, village characters, great food, lots of beverage libations and treats. Games of skill, hands-on demos with historical and fantasy nautical village characters.

(402) 331-5500
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 8:35AM
PerformerNews icon 8:35 AM - A warning to musical acts. (posted by JohnPaul )
This morning, James (of Concentio Agnorum) relayed to me some information that popped up somewhere on Facebook concerning musical groups illegally performing music at Renaissance festivals. As I am sure all musicians know, groups like BMI and ASCAP exist so songwriters can get paid for the use of their music. To over simplify, it's how the person who wrote Superstar Diva's big hit gets money, where Superstar Diva is getting money from the concerts, performances, etc.

This really shouldn't affect Renaissance festival music at all, since tunes from that era are in the public domain... But, it seems many "Renaissance" acts are performing modern tunrs -- things like The Scotsman (1979, Mike Cross) and other tunes from our generation. Is there really any reason to be performing modern folk music at a festival?

But, there are many acts that have been making money - paid to perform, tips - but not paying anything back to the person who created the songs they perform. In affect, stealing their material for financial gain.

I guess BMI and ASCAP, the two biggest music licensing entities, are now starting to crack down on events that have folks doing this. The event or performer can be fined for this. Clubs will often pay licenses so they can have performers in their venue do these tunes, but it seems not all Festivals do this. And if the venue is not licensed, it is up to the invidicual performer to pay performance rights for doing music that does not belong to them.

Festivals, look in to what it takes to license with BMI and ASCAP, are you could end up getting fines. And musicians, if you are using someone elses tunes without permission, consider doing the proper thing and actually paying the song owner for their work.

I expect there are many "Renaissance" groups out there that would suddenly not have any songs they could play if they were not allowed to play their 1900s tunes at a Renaissance event.

More detials when I have time to do some research.
Monday, June 17, 2013 6:58PM
AtTheFaire icon 6:58 PM - Des Moines-area pirates wanted. (posted by JohnPaul )
A group will be doing a fund raiser event on the night of Saturday, October 17th here in Des Moines and they are going with a pirate theme. They found my Pirate Comedy Show website and inquired about availability. They are hoping to find some folks willing to donate some time and come out dressed as pirates to add some color and theme to the event.

If you are piratey and would like to learn more, e-mail me and I will start making a list and get them in touch with you.

We probably need to start making such a list anyway. I get inquiries several times a year for appearances and such, and I am usually unable to help them out.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 10:25AM
FestivalNews icon 10:25 AM - Near-record attendance in Nebraska. (posted by JohnPaul )
It sounds like, had the first weekend weather not been so crappy, that the Nebraska Renaissance Faire may have had its best year yet. I would love to hear some feedback from those who attended this year, as I had $1.64 to my name and couldn't afford a trip.

I am told they sold out of turkey legs and had one of the best years for food sales yet. Feedback coming in about the event has been the best I have ever seen too ( to give your comments). It seems the event may be spun off to new management next year, so this is a strong way to make that transition.

More news if I get any. Sorry for the lack of updates lately. I am a bit out of the loop.
Thursday, May 2, 2013 6:49PM
FestivalNews icon 6:49 PM - More AtTheFaire video on TV... (posted by JohnPaul )
For an interview about the upcoming Nebraska Renaissance Faire, the station used a montage of video I shot last year at the event:

This was quite a long interview - very surprised.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013 2:38PM
(default) icon 2:38 PM - NY ren group has kickstarter to get to Iowa to perform. (posted by JohnPaul )
A Renaissance festival group currently located in New York is wanting to come perform at the Iowa Renaissance Festival... If they can get the money... They have a kickstarter comapaign going for a few more days:

Check it out.
Sunday, March 10, 2013 4:25PM
FestivalNews icon 4:25 PM - Discount Nebraska Ren Faire tickets. (posted by JohnPaul )
I am not sure if they have ever offered discount tickets before, but they are this year. Until March 15th, at least:
Saturday, February 16, 2013 11:26AM
FestivalNews icon 11:26 AM - Midwest Ren Fest owner in an accident? (posted by JohnPaul )
This was just passed along to me... There's a report that Don Losole, owner of Scary Acres in Omaha and former operator of the Midwest Renaissance Festival, died in a car accident a few days ago. I checked the news postings and there are articles, but they don't make any mention of the man being the Scary Acres owner - only referring to him as a cousin of a restaurant operator of the same name. Anyone know if this is our Don? I so... Yikes.

Update: confirmed on the Scary Acres Facebook page... rest in peace, Don, and condolences to his family. He was a fascinating man I enjoyed visiting with on the times I got to.

MerchantNews icon 11:21 AM - Ames British Foods has a restaurant... (posted by JohnPaul )
The visitor favorite of the Des Moines Renaissance Faire for a few years was Ames British Foods, and although they were not at the event in 2912, there is a place locals can go to enjoy their offerings. They have a restaurant location in Ames, Iowa called The Chip Shop:

They are located at 3100 S Duff, which is right down the road (on the other side of the highway) from the famous Hickory Park Restauarant in Ames. Check it out when you are there next. I know I will be.
Friday, January 4, 2013 7:53PM
FestivalNews icon 7:53 PM - Iowa Renaissance Festival 2013 (posted by JohnPaul )
Middle Amana Park, Amana Colonies
May 25-26-27th [11am to 6pm] Memorial Day Weekend

This 22nd annual celebration of European History & World Culture has been named "Iowa's Best Family Fest." Six stages of professional entertainment, a jousting arena, artisan merchants bazaar, living history encampments, games of skill, demonstrations & exhibits, food court, beer garden & wine shop, hands-on activities and 200 costumed village characters.

Admission: $10 adults, $6 kids, tots free. Free Parking.
Two-day pass - $16, Three-day pass - $20
Event Info:
Tel. #641-357-5177
Friday, December 14, 2012 9:22PM
FestivalNews icon 9:22 PM - We miss ya, Midwest Ren Fest (posted by JohnPaul )
Tonight I was checking in on Jeremiah of and I looked at his Faires links. One of them went to the Midwest Renaissance Festival in Omaha:

I suppose there's little hope of it returning now that their domain is gone, and points to some Japanese site.

You will be missed! It's rare an event operator puts as much money in to building up infrastructure -- great jousting arena, plenty of shaded seating, wooden benches at the wooden stages... I wonder where all the former Renaissance Faire of the Midlands props and stuff will end up next?

Powered by Coranto

Help keep us online. Book your travel here, or patronize some of these folke:

About ATF Banner Exchange Contact ATF Favorite Links Link to Us Mailing Lists Site Index Sponsor ATF What's New?
Sign Our Guestbook Message Board View Our Guestbook

Home ~ Shoppe ~ Folke ~ Info ~ Photos ~ Pub ~ Virgins ~ Services
About ~ BanEx ~ Contact ~ Links ~ Link to Us ~ Lists ~ Site Index ~ Sponsor ~ What's New?

Copyright 1997-2010 by - E-mail the webmaster Community Members as of 11/10/10 :
Festivals: Merchants: Performers: Everything Else:
  1. Central Iowa Celtic Festival (IA)
  2. Des Moines Ren Faire (IA)
  3. Four Kingdoms Festival (IL)
  4. Hamlet of Mid Missouri (MO)
  5. Iowa Ren Festival (IA)
  6. Nebraska Ren Faire (NE)
  7. Wild West "Family Fun" Fest (IA)
  6. mysticmetalweavers

Host your site with ATF and be listed here! $60/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: