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Iowa’s Des Moines Renaissance Faire recovers from small fire

Earlier this year, a small fire took out a few food booths at Festival Park, home of the Des Moines Renaissance Faire and other events. During the Times of Future Past event, the affected area was fenced off (see photo). The site owner, Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, is in the process of rebuilding the shops so they will be open in time for the Renaissance faire in September. This will be the 10th time that festival has taken place at Festival Park.


Madrigal Banquet in Clear Lake, Iowa


-News Release-

-for immediate

“Inaugural Banquet with Entertainment”

To celebrate St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6th) and the 20th anniversary of Christmas by the Lake, the Best Western Holiday Lodge in association with North Iowa Civic Theater will present the first ‘Holiday Madrigal Banquet’. This Christmas themed feast along with an array of performers will take place after the fireworks on that saturday night of Clear Lake’s festive weekend.

This theater-in-the-round traditional olde-English banquet will be set in the Victorian era and will include pre-show contest games, a multi-course meal of unique servings, a cash bar, and professional Renaissance festival performers from around the region.

The performing roster will feature Queen Victoria & Prince Albert, Gilbert O’Sullivan as master of ceremonies, magician Lord Drake, an authentic ‘Punch & Judy’ puppet show, singer Katia del Rio as Eliza Doolittle, the Mixed Doubles Twins with their “Sherlock Holmes” comedy, the swordplay stunt show by Sons of the Mist, strolling minstrels & vocalists, a juggler, comic characters and surprise shenanigans.

The seating will be at round tables of eight settings for individuals, couples, groups or company parties. Tickets will be $30 per person, and must be reserved/purchased in advance.

The doors open at 6:30pm for early seating choices and a half-hour of warm-up games, contests and libations. The main food courses and floor show acts start at 7:00 with the banquet expected to conclude by 8:30.

“We’d like to take the traditional madrigal banquet to another level, and present it as a dinner feast with theatricals. It’ll be somewhat of an indoor Renaissance faire with a nostalgic expression for Christmas of old,” states the event’s producer Gregory Schmidt, who runs four Renaissance festivals around the Upper Midwest.

Interested attendees to the inaugural ‘Holiday Madrigal Banquet’ can secure their tickets and seating by contacting Mandy VanVoorhis at the Best Western Holiday Lodge via or tel. #641-357-5253 ext 488.


CONTACT: Greg Schmidt

Greetings from Nebraska

We are in Omaha for the weekend, ready for the Midlands Pirate Festival in nearby Papillion. The site has had some new construction since last year, and in spite of all the rain, the Bellevue Berry Farm has made sure the pathways are all clear and wood chipped. Each stage now has rather nice chalk board signs next to them for the schedules. We will have to get some details from them to share, as it seems like a rather nice solution to the problem of “crappy stage signage” so many festivals suffer from. (The white sign below is not part of the stage sign – it’s just being used there instead of writing the stage name in chalk.)

Check back for a recap after this weekend.