Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated: 1/24/2021

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 risqué 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!” 😉


Okay, this one is not frequently asked, but we feel it is important to mention that most of our performers have been out work during the pandemic. 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 😉

Do you offer group discounts?

Yes. Contact our producer, Greg, for details.

Can I bring my dog / sword?

Our property owner has a no pets policy, sorry. And yes, costume swords are allowed if peace-tied. See our policies page.

How do I become a Vendor / Entertainer?

Vendors should fill our a Vendor Application Request form. Entertainers should use our Entertainment Contact page.

Which festival is this?

Des Moines has been home to five different Renaissance/pirate festival events produced by three different organizations. We brought the first one here in 1993, actually. For 2021, we currently know of four different events scheduled. Keeping track of all of us may require taking notes.

This event is the “Des Moines Renaissance Faire” (official business name). It began in 2004 and was the one that was held Sleepy Hollow Sports Park from 2006 to 2015. If you attended any of the events out there since 2016, you were at their new event. We hope whichever event you attended, you had a great time!

We did not operate our event in 2016, 2017 or 2018 (explained later on this page). In 2019, we resumed at our new northside location west of Saylorville Township on property behind Puttmasters At The Pines.

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 brought the first Renaissance festival to Des Moines back in 1993 – the Iowa Renaissance Festival. It ran for seven years at the state fairgrounds before moving to Amana Colonies where it still operates today.

In addition to the Des Moines Renaissance Faire, we 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 “16th 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 16 “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.