F.A.Q.

Our special August “Covid-19 social distancing” event has concluded. See you in 2021!

Tell us how we did by filling out our 2020 Feedback Form. We welcome reviews at Facebook, Google, TripAdvisor, and Yelp.

New Location!

Now near Saylorville behind Puttmasters At The Pines:
2977 NW 66th Ave
Des Moines IA 50313

Aug 7-8-9, 2020

Friday 4:30 – 8:30
Saturday 10:30 – 8:30
Sunday 10:30 – 5:30

Only $12 and free parking!

Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated: 7/29/2020

Is Covid-19 impacting this event?

While two other earlier ren/pirate events in Des Moines have been rescheduled and then postponed, our event is still on for August. See our dedicated Covid-19 page for more details.

Tipping?

Okay, this one is not frequently asked, but we feel it is important to mention that many of our performers have been out of work this year. If you enjoy their performance, they always appreciate a tip at the end of the show. (And the appreciate it even if you don’t enjoy their performance, we have heard…) This helps compensate for how poorly festivals pay 😉

Is this event safe for kids?

Yes, the Des Moines Renaissance Faire is family friendly. While there is another local Renaissance event that is “21+ only” and offers risque entertainment, we are not associated with that event. Please feel safe bringing your kids to our event! (We always try to warn if any shows lean closer to PG ratings.)

But we still say: “Its not our fault if your kids get the jokes!” 😉

Do you offer group discounts?

Yes. Contact our producer, Greg, for details.

Can I bring my dog / sword?

No and yes. See our policies page.

How do I become a Merchant / Performer?

Please contact our producer for details. It helps if you include a photo of your booth and merchandise, or a link to a YouTube audition video if you are a performer.

Which festival is this?

Des Moines has been home to five different Renaissance/pirate festival events, produced by three different organizations. A sixth event was announced for 2020 but was later postponed. With four different events originally planned for 2020, keeping track of all of us may require taking notes.

This event is the “Des Moines Renaissance Faire” (official name). It began in 2004 and used to be at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park. If you attended any of the Renaissance festivals at Sleepy Hollow from 2006 to 2015, you were at our event, the Des Moines Renaissance Faire. If you attended any of the events out there in the past four years (2016-2019), you were at their new event. We hope whichever event you attended, you had a great time! (Think of it like a building was Joe’s Pizza for ten years, then they moved and Pizza By Tina opens up in the same building. It is still a pizza place, but a completely different business, even if some of the old staff now work there.)

DMRF started in 2004 with several one-weekend events held at Water Works Park and two locations at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. In 2006, we relocated to Sleepy Hollow for ten years. In 2019, we moved to property behind Puttmasters At The Pines near Saylorville Township.

Who runs this event?

Festivals International is a small family business (husband and wife team) based in Clear Lake, Iowa. We are the organization that started the first Renaissance festival in Des Moines back in 1993 – the Iowa Renaissance Festival. It ran for several years at the state fairgrounds before moving to Amana Colonies where it still operates today.

In addition to the Des Moines Renaissance Faire, we also produce other festivals around the Midwest.

Why is this event no longer at Sleepy Hollow?

We had a ten year agreement to operate at Sleepy Hollow. After not being able to agree on renewal terms, we signed a no compete contract with them and agreed to not host our event for three years.

At that time, Sleepy Hollow started a brand new event on the same weekends we had used for the previous ten years. We lost access to the original Des Moines Renaissance Faire Facebook page and it was renamed to their new event. Any posts you see on their page from 2015 and earlier were about our event, the Des Moines Renaissance Faire, even though today Facebook will show their event name in all posts, tagged photos, etc. That’s just how the tech works, folks 😉

Adding the confusion is both events being called the “15th annual”, even though the Sleepy Hollow event only started it in 2016. Counting the ten years our event the Des Moines Renaissance Faire was out there, they have indeed had 15 “renaissance faires” at Sleepy Hollow, even though the official Sleepy Hollow Renaissance Faire has only been there since 2016.

Why is the sky blue?

NASA can answer this one better.