It's time to go back to the 16th century and relive the period in all its glory: The Valhalla Renaissance Faire makes its way back to Camp Richardson for two weekends of merrymaking and more beginning Saturday, June 2.
The festivities, which include everything from on-stage productions to arts and crafts, showcase all things Elizabethan England and celebrate the faire's 25th year in South Lake Tahoe.
"There are a ton of stage acts we're bringing in, including falcons, period music, comedy and theatrical shows. In addition, we're going to be running a series of Celtic concerts," said Marti Miernik, producer of the event. The company she works with, Renaissance Productions, has been involved in bringing the renaissance faire to South Shore for the past 15 years.
While guests who have attended the Valhalla Renaissance Faire in years past will recognize much of the same entertainment — hundreds of in-street actors, themed food and drink, and shopping — the Celtic shows are making their debuts.
Tempest and Tartanic will take the stage during the first weekend (Saturday and Sunday, June 2-3), while CuDubh performs the second weekend (Saturday and Sunday, June 9-10). All three groups are internationally acclaimed, and the performances come as part of the "25th anniversary special," according to Miernik.
Throughout both weekends, attendees will be able to walk through a Renaissance village that features a merchant marketplace with over 100 unique vendors selling woodcrafts, artwork, clothing, leather goods, historic weapons and more.
Both weekends also boast a variety of shows, games and crafts for all ages — but styles differ.
"We always gear towards the event being family-friendly, but the first weekend is more geared toward younger kids, and there are more things happening for kids to do," explained Miernik, adding that these activities include learning how to sword fight and having tea with the queen.
The event is focused on in-street interactions with nearly 1,000 actors in period costume — according to Miernik, staff's goal is to transport guests to the 1500s through acting and the festival environment. As always, the team behind the Valhalla Renaissance Faire encourages attendees to dress in costume for maximum enjoyment.
"The second weekend is relaxed and a loose atmosphere," she said. "It's very clear that whatever the entertainment is, it follows the rules and regulations for children. But [the second weekend] is more wild and fun. Patrons come dressed as barbarians, pirates and wenches."
Early bird tickets for the Valhalla Renaissance Faire cost $16 for adults, $12 for seniors and military members and ages 13-17, $8 for children aged 6-12, and children under 6 enter for free.
A variety of parking options are available this year: Free handicap parking is located across from the faire site as long as space remains; $5 parking is located at South Tahoe High School (1735 Lake Tahoe Blvd.) with a free shuttle to the faire; free parking is available at Snow Park, also with a free shuttle to the faire; Camp Richardson offers limited paid parking.
Learn more, purchase tickets and view a complete schedule online at http://www.valhallafaire.com.