The pageantry of Medieval France will again be in full flower with the return of the Annual Greater St Louis Renaissance Faire, May 16th through June 7th.
The event is held at a dedicated site dubbed Petit Lyon located in Rotary Park near Wentzville, Missouri, one of the more distant suburbs of St Louis.
Mounted knights will square off against opponents, French nobility will officiate at events throughout the fairgrounds accompanied by royal guards and churchmen, musically-inclined pirates will entertain on a stage resembling a pirate-ship, gypsy belly-dancers will perform on their own stage, and you may even encounter a leper or two on the grounds begging for alms. There’s even a petting zoo and an area set aside for elven folk.
Newest additions include the Hospitaller Knights encampment, the Viking camp and longboat display, as well as the wood collier camp.
As you wander about gnawing on a turkey leg, you’ll encounter entertainment of all sorts, from plays, to lone minstrels playing harp or mandolin, or even a show featuring falcons and hawks.
More than 30 acts will perform on nine stages, including Pirate Shantyman and Bonny Lass, Elvendrums, Limey Birds, the Chuvani Gypsy Dancers, Musical Blades, Molotov, The Swordswallowers, Jester Rejects, Melissa Purvis, and Owain Phyfe
Because of St Louis’ French roots and because 90% of renaissance faires have an English orientation, sponsors have given this event a French twist. Of course, many at Petit Lyon opt for an English accent as visitors to la belle France.
The historical setting is 1518, during the reign of Francois I, a contemporary of Henry VIII of England. The French monarch is negotiating with Henry for the marriage of Francois’ daughter to the English king’s son.
A welcome feature of the Greater St Louis Renaissance Faire is the variety of vendors offering such fare as pastry, period clothing, Medieval weaponry, scented soaps, dragon-winged stuffed animals, pottery, and books, just to name a very few.
Cost, Hours, Parking
The event is being held Saturdays and Sundays between May 15 and June 7, to include Memorial Day. Ticket prices run $13 dollars for one day for an adult, $20 for a weekend, with season passes at $50. Prices are lower for students, seniors, and those 12 years old and younger.
Gate opens 10am to 6pm. Parking is free. Costumes are encouraged and even rented at the main gate, but not required. Do try to avoid wearing garish T-shirts.