Ye Olde Ren Fair 2022

It’s that time of year again where all the leather clad fantasy fury fairies, and and any one who vaguely likes Doctor Who, gather in the Santé Fe Recreational Dam Area to celebrate the ancient tradition of charging 17 dollars for a can of beer! I’m sorry I mean mead!

The lines were truly crazy this year but that did not deter our group of friends from having a drunken good time.

It was Justin and Gabe’s first time to the California Ren Faire, so they choose to attend as civilians with out dressing up. Justin briefly considered renting a costume, but decided to reconsider investing in mead when he saw the prices.

I of course was prepared with my bards costume, which has slowly become simpler throughout the years as I have lost the arm bands, boot cuffs and medallions, I’ll find them next year though. and Jack and Chloe were festive as well. Chloe is the Queen of Hearts which was quite the hit. Fair goers would shout “I want you in my deck!” And Jack is some sort of jester I think? It’s a poncho?

All right, enough introductions, its time for some PICTURES! The Ren Faire is like a photographers wet dream. Probably only second to Burning man or something. I love all the costumes and crazy looking people. In fact the crazier you look, the more authentic you become. What a wonderful place!

This guy was one of the first people I spotted. He looked absolutely stunning and he was charming up a crowd with his lute playing. I tried to shoot through plants trinkets to create some interesting framing.

And here are some more fun costumes. You can never tell who works at the faire and who is just a super well dressed patron. Every one just wants to add to the experience! Not pictured are all the normal looking people dressed in t shirts and shorts. but I was able to shoot over them with my Tamron 17-70mm lens and get up close to the real action. I would eventually like a longer lens for events like the jousting, but 70mm on APSC is pretty long!

A few of us getting lost in the chaos!

For some reason we stuck around and watched this guy who seemed to be doing extraordinarily underwhelming magic for laughs.

Justin and Chloe played a bit with the Merchandise and I snapped a picture, which is something the vendors don’t really like you to do. So here are a few shots of the cool wares before I had to put the camera away. Also Chloe’s purchase was the golden rhinoceros.

We met a nice steam punk lady too who looked stunning!

Justin had his eyes set on a giant tankard. And after a few meads, he was just inebriated enough to spend the $95.00 to purchase this one. It was very heavy he said.

Then we saw some more impromptu performances and Chloe met up with a very angelic friend from work!

Then it was time to see the jousting event! We got our seats an hour early because the crowds were insane. But luckily we got to be entertained by this very excited flag girl who told us exactly which knight to cheer for, and which one to boo!

A chill lizard hung out with us as well. He was very friendly and laid on Gabe’s shoe for quite a while.

Time to joust!

We met our knights and they charged at each other while attempting to skewer a balsa wood shield for points!

Galloping noises as the crowd goes wild!

The red knight looks fabulous! I wish I could have gotten over the gate some how.

Managed to get all the characters are in this one. Sir Max a Million zooms by with flag lady and the announcer blurred out by the f2.8 aperture.


At some point the jousters decided they didn’t like the outcome of the point system and decided to end it in hand to hand combat. I didn’t get a shot of it, but they had squibs on their necks which would explode in fake blood when they sliced each other up. There were 3 stage deaths total this afternoon.

Then it was time to wander the fair once more! This guy had a cool puppet dragon that would spray you with water as you walked by!

Then it was time for our group to sharpen our javelin tossing skills. Chloe some how haggled with the vendor to get us each 3 throws for $15.00. And as it turns out, tossing a spear is quite hard.

But yours’s truly managed to hurl one vaguely into the green area. And then with the accuracy of a Vanguard rocket launch, I threw one straight up into the netting.

On the way out we saw some last minute performers and Parades. and I managed to get myself lost in a kiddie maze.

It’s good that the Ren Faire only comes once a year, Because it is dusty, crowded and really expensive. But also a ton of fun! Here is Chloe, thoroughly exhausted by the sheer amount of fun and mead she had.