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April 24, 1977: Kenneth Millikan introduces candidates for Queen of the Workers, a daily contest at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire at Paramount Ranch in Agoura. This photo was published in the April 25, 1977, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bill Varie / Los Angeles Times

May 1, 1966: Participants and spectators at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire give a cheer as Robin Hood makes an appearance at Paramount Ranch in Agoura. This photo was published in the May 3, 1966, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Judd Gunderson / Los Angeles Times

May 9, 1973: Photographer Tim Dressler of North Hollywood pays the penalty for "stealing one's soul with a camera" during the Renaissance Pleasure Faire at Paramount Ranch in Agoura. This photo was published in the May 14, 1973, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bill Varie / Los Angeles Times

April 23, 1973: Strolling players add to the Elizabethan atmosphere at Renaissance Pleasure Faire at Paramount Ranch in Agoura. This photo was published in the May 4, 1973, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Kathleen Ballard / Los Angeles Times

April 20, 1975: Nili Hadash, 11, of Brentwood takes a mighty swing at her opponent during a game of battle at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. The object of the game was to knock the wooden peg off the opponent's helmet. This photo was published in the April 21, 1975, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bill Varie / Los Angeles Times

April 22, 1978: Boisterous laborers gather for a feast during the Renaissance Faire at Paramount Ranch near Agoura. This photo was published in the April 27, 1978, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Tony Barnard / Los Angeles Times

April 22, 1978: Harpist Indus Arthur performs at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire at Paramount Ranch in Agoura. This photo was published in the April 30, 1978, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Tony Barnard / Los Angeles Times

May 1979: Mara Kaufer, 5, rests during Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Agoura. This photo was published in the May 6, 1979, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ken Lubas / Los Angeles Times

April 28, 1979: An opening-day procession of the St. Cuthbert's Guild winds its way into the Renaissance Pleasure Faire at Paramount Ranch in Agoura. This photo was published in the May 1, 1979, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Tony Barnard / Los Angeles Times

A Shakespearean actor looks down at his fellow thespians as they perform at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire at Paramount Ranch in Agoura. This photo was published in the May 6, 1979, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ken Lubas / Los Angeles Times

May 1980: A jester called MacKey performs at the Renaissance Please Faire in Agoura. This photo was published in the May 25, 1980, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ken Lubas / Los Angeles Times

April 6, 1985: Rick Foss, right, engages in swordplay with an unidentified opponent at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire held at Paramount Ranch in Agoura. This photo was published in the April 7, 1985, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Brian Gadbery / Los Angeles Times

J. Pluckem Ticklebottom, the Guildmaster of the Resaissance Pleasure Faire held at Paramount Ranch in Agoura in 1983, left, and in 1987.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Gary Friedman/Con Keyes / Los Angeles Times

April 21, 1987: George Griffith tilting the rings at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire at Paramount Ranch in Agoura. This photo was published in the April 25, 1987, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Con Keyes / Los Angeles Times

June 5, 1988: The 1988 Renaissance Pleasure Faire ends with the March of the Guilds. This photo was published in the June 10, 1988, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Joe Vitti / Los Angeles Times

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Renaissance Pleasure Faire at Paramount Ranch

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Renaissance Pleasure Faire at Paramount Ranch

The Renaissance Pleasure Faire started in 1963. From 1966 through 1988 the event was held at the Paramount Ranch just south of Agoura Hills.

The Los Angeles’ Times’ Sue Martin reported in April 30, 1988:

Ah, ’tis spring and all the land is faire … at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire at ye olde Paramount Ranch in the gently dimpled hills of Agoura ….

This year (the Faire’s 26th), the 400th anniversary of Sir Francis Drake’s defeat of the Spanish Armada, is being celebrated every weekend through June 5. Faire goers can see the great navigator himself or listen to his compatriots spin yarns along Freebooter’s Way. Or perhaps pay their respects to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I when she makes her daily progress through the village at 3 p.m.

From downtown Los Angeles, take U.S. 101 north to the Chesebro exit, then follow the signs to the Faire’s imaginary English village of Chipping-under-Oakwood. There will be 3,000 costumed revelers, buskers, hawkers of goods, village clowns and clergy alike and Elizabethan nobles wandering in true-to-the-period costumes.

Visitors to this little bit of Elizabethan whimsy can mingle with the natives, sipping beer and eating bangers (sausage and fried onions on a roll), shepherd’s pye, turkey drumsticks dripping with sauce or an icy sherbet. Outdoor odors of damp earth and straw mix with those of barbecuing chicken, incense and oils. In the spirit of the event are jugglers, mummers and actors enacting bawdy Elizabethan tales.

Get into the swash of things, and buckle up your boots and drag out those old baggy knickers or Gypsy skirt from the back of the closet; the costume’s the thing! (One can even rent one at the Faire.)

Or, best of all, pause in the dappled shade of the venerable oaks and just soak up the atmosphere as the afternoon sun slants like golden banners through the trees, while you sit on scruffy hay bales and watch the play of light on the color and ribaldry .…

Over 200,000 visitors attended the 1988 Faire. Then Paramount Ranch was sold for a housing development. On Aug. 5, 1988, The Times reported that “about 50 structures” built by the Renaissance Faire were bulldozed. In 1992 the land was acquired by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

In 1989 the Faire relocated to Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino County. Currently the Faire is held at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area in Irwindale.

For more information, visit the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire websit.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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1 Comment

  1. May 2, 2014, 9:29 am

    My mom's been going since Agoura – I've been taking her for Mother's day for about 20 years. Great times – and always .. always get a picture of us eating our turkey legs together.

    By: Al in SoCal

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