Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this

By Henri Migala

November 2, 2021 (Escondido) -- I can’t believe that I have lived in San Diego for over 20 years and have only now discovered the magic and fun of the Renaissance Fair in Escondido! I’m really sorry I never took my children there when they were little. I’m sure they would have loved at least as much as I did.

What can be better than real live mounted knights in shining armor? How about real live mounted knights displaying their riding and combat skills with lances and swords, and really jousting with actual lances, battles with spears, bows and sword fighting, knights and “wildings,” Queens and Princesses, Lords and Noblemen, muses and music, pirates and fairies?  There’s also, food, vendors selling jewelry, period clothing, and weapons such as swords and knives. Plus, you can enjoy entertainment and stage performances – all at the Escondido Renaissance Fair.

“We have been recreating the magic, excitement, wonders and beauty of 16th century Queen Elizabeth’s England for over 20 years,” says Richard Pavia, CEO of the Escondido Renaissance Faire.










I was curious about the character stories of a couple of the “Wilds” who were there, so I mustered up the courage to speak with a couple of them. “I was originally with the Romani people,” said Reama, “and my caravan was traveling through this wonderful country some years ago, and we were attacked. I was little enough that I survived by hiding among the caravan.”

“Unfortunately, I was then picked up by some Nobles in the country coming through as well, just to scavenge things,“ continued Reama. “They were trying to auction me off to the highest bidder, and luckily, these wonderful Wilds were coming through town at the same time and decided they wanted me instead, for some reason. I don’t know why. I am very grateful for it. They won me in a dice battle.”

Her colleague, Owl, shared his story. “I’m really just a nobody,” said Owl. “Just an ordinary farmer from a small village."

Owl then continued with his sad and tragic story. “The Queen’s people wanted some of the supplies from our farm, some of the food and grain and things,” said Owl angrily. “They wanted some of all we had.”

“We had Knights come in and swept over everything and killed everybody,” said Owl. ”But I was out gathering things at the time. When I saw what had happened, I started hunting Knights. I came across a couple of Wilds in the woods, and fought my way to earn entry,” shard Owl proudly

Reama and Owl are really Jennifer and James. Jennifer is originally from Las Vegas. “I saw them at the fair and said to myself, “that just looks like so much fun!” And that was 21 years ago,” recounted Reama, happily.

James is originally from San Diego. “I joined with Jennifer,” shared James. “We were close friends for a long time and then we started dating. She had done Ren[aissance] Fair, so I decided to try it out one year and that was 11 years ago,” recounted James. “I just fell in love with it pretty much instantly.”

There are a lot of 16th century weapons used in all of the fighting scenes; bows and arrows, swords of various lengths and types, lances and spears, maces, battle axes, and others. The fighting melees are engaging, energetic and raucous, with weapons being swung and thrusted all about.

“It takes a lot of time and practice to learn to use the weapons,” said Jennifer. “We use a system developed by a jousting school. We have a manual and had a couple of people come out to show and teach us, and run through things like drills and practice, and practice, and practice,” continued Jennifer. 

Everything at the fair is as period authentic as can be. The tents, inside and out, are elaborate in décor and furnishings. The clothing, outfits and costumes range from elegant to fanciful to wildly barbaric, and everyone is happy and willing to have their pictures taken. The entertainment is engaging, lively and fun including period music, storytelling for children, and even a sword swallower.

The entire fair is wonderfully enchanting. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and only wish I had been taking my family to the fair many years ago.

Do yourself and your family a favor and go and enjoy a day of fantastic fun and entertainment at the Escondido Renaissance Fair. Costumes are not required, but many attendees choose to get into the spirit of the occasion by coming in creative costumes.

“Leave the world behind you when you cross through the gates into the 16th century, and the fantasy is yours,” said Pavia. I never realized how right he was.

Details of the event:

Escondido Renaissance Faire

Last weekend November 6 - 7, 2021

10:00AM - 6:00PM

Felicita County Park

742 Clarence Lane, Escondido, CA 92029

The Escondido Renaissance Faire continues for a second weekend, November 6-7.  If you miss this year’s festivities, a Spring Renaissance Faire will be held at the same location during the last weekend in April and the first weekend in May 2022.

There is a $3 charge by the county to park.

Cost of the event: $25 for adults, $15 for children 5-11 and free for children under 5.

Event website:

Show Times: (In the main field. Music and other performers are on other stages throughout the day).

10:00 a.m. - The Faire Opens

12:00 p.m. - The Queens Royal Parade and Progress

02:00 p.m. - Battle Pageant

03:00 p.m. - Battle of the Bone

04:00 p.m. - Jousting Tournament

06:00 p.m. - Closing Time


Individual sword combat:

Battle melee (lancers, swords)

Battle melee (shield wall)

Battle of the Bone

Stage performance (whip)

Stage performance (sword swallower)

Musical minstrels, dancing

Mounted Knights, Jousting (hit)

Mounted Knights, Jousting (miss)

Mounted Knights, lance the rings

Mounted Knights, lancing targets on the ground

Mounted Knights, sword skills
















Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.