Posts Tagged ‘Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area’

The Los Angeles Dragon Boat Races & Festival moved to the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area in Irwindale this past Saturday. For those who may have missed the Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival last month, this iteration will seem familiar, if not in the same format. In addition to the races, various tradition Chinese performers entertained spectators between races, mainly consisting of Lion Dance acts and music. People ask what makes a dragon boat race so spectacular, to which I respond with what makes (fill in the blank) race so spectacular? Much like how many attend NASCAR or horse-racing events, dragon boat racing thrills and shakes the heart. Besides visually watching the race, you have to keep your ears open for the pounding of the drums and the chanting of the paddlers. Combining your senses allows for a full-body experience at a dragon boat race.

The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire returned for its annual run during April and May this year. Taking place at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area in Irwindale, this all-ages fair allows visitors to get a glimpse of life in the medieval era in terms of the way of living, the food, the music, the artistry, the ways of speaking, the forms of entertainment, and more. Thematically speaking, a Renaissance Faire revolves around dressing up like the people did during the old days, acting like the people did, and speaking like the people did. While the costumes originally followed the medieval theme, times have changed to encompass a broader scope of acceptable outfits, so I witnessed costumes such as pirates, steampunk, ninjas, samurais, gypsies, fairies, farmers, Scotsmen, certain cartoon characters (e.g. Peter Pan), and even a Deadpool with a kilt and “old-school” weapons. Technically, a Renaissance Faire can double as a cosplay event as long as the costume somehow matches. From the Skyrim series to the Warcraft series to the Game of Thrones series to the Marvel Universe, virtually any costume with ties to the old age would fit in here.

Aside from the diverse range of outfits seen here, visitors can expect a lot more to see and do at a Renaissance Faire. Vendors line every path in the venue, allowing visitors a chance to buy something to fit in. Actors and shows took place around every corner, meaning nobody would ever enjoy a moment of peace & quiet. Because of the lack of electricity (except for lights), vendors and actors had to shout or otherwise speak very loudly. Shows ranged from acting to demonstrations to singing to comedy and more. Of particular note, the jousting arena attracted the largest crowd of visitors. The wide variety of entertainment and booths to visit meant that visitors could spend the entire day here and still have more to check out. For more official information about the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire, check them out on Facebook and Twitter.