The original Renaissance Pleasure Faire began in 1963 as an educational event for families and schoolchildren in the Hollywood Hills. It has since become a phenomenon that draws more than 200,000 people every year with a host of entertainment, contests, food and other attractions.
Running until May 22, the faire will feature artisans and vendors selling crafted goods such as handmade brooms, decorative eggs and all manner of Renaissance-era accessories. There’ll also be games and activities such as archery, hair braiding, petting zoos and darts. On Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1, come dressed in your favorite time travel costume for Steampunk Weekend.
The fair is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area, 15501 Arrow Highway, east of Pasadena. One-day tickets cost $15 per child and $28.95 per adult. Children 4 and younger enter free.
For more information, visit renfair.com/socal/tickets/index.html
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What: Attend a butterfly celebration in beautiful, historic downtown Mariposa. The festival will feature a 5- and 12-K trail run through Paseo de Mariposa, a butterfly parade down Highway 140, a skateboarding competition, as well as live entertainment, artisan vendors and food.
When: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 30; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 1
Where: Downtown Mariposa and other locations in town
What: Enjoy the works of pianists Tom Brier, John Reed-Torres, Jack & Chris Bradshaw and others. In addition to the music, the weekend will feature lots of comfort food and scenic views.
When: Begins 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 29; 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30; 1 p.m. Sunday, May 1
Where: Oakhurst Community Center, 39800 Road 425-B; and Oakhurst Lutheran Church, 39255 Black Road
Cost: Tickets $10 per show
What: Santa Maria will celebrate its local agricultural bounty with the 29th annual Strawberry Festival. The event will showcase strawberry tastings and dessert-eating competitions, local musical talent, wildlife exhibits and traditional carnival activities.
When: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday, April 29 and May 1
Where: Santa Maria Fairpark, 937 S. Thornburg St.
Cost: $5 child; $7 general admission
What: Enjoy train rides, antique farm equipment, model train displays, turntable displays and arts and crafts at the Fillmore Railfest in Ventura County. On Sunday evening, enjoy a Mexican Sunset Steam Dinner Train event aboard the Vintage Baldwin Steam Locomotive No. 14.
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1
Where: Central Park
Cost: Tickets range from $10 to $36 per event
Urban Ocean Festival
What: Aquarium of the Pacific’s Urban Ocean Festival examines society’s relationship with the coast and ocean during art and poetry competitions, exhibits and activities.
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1
Where: 100 Aquarium Way
Cost: General admission to Aquarium of the Pacific is adults $14.95, seniors age 62 and older $13.45, children ages 3 to 11 $8.95