History

New Location!

Now near Saylorville behind Puttmasters At The Pines:
2977 NW 66th Ave
Des Moines IA 50313
(Follow signs to free parking.)

Aug 7-8-9, 2020

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

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Last Updated: 7/10/2020

1997 photo of Iowa Renaissance Festival at State Fairgrounds.

Des Moines has been home to several Renaissance festivals over the years. The first one was the Iowa Renaissance Festival which began in Mason City in 1992 and relocated to Des Moines the following year. In 2000, that event moved to Amana Colonies where it continues to operate.

2002 was the final year of Salisbury Faire.

During this time, Salisbury House Foundation began Salisbury Faire, held across the bridge at Water Works Park. Its final year was 2002.

In 2003, the producer of the Iowa Renaissance Festival announced he would create a new event for the area, and thus the Des Moines Renaissance Faire was born. 2002 was the only year since 1993 that Des Moines did not have (at least one) Renaissance festival.

2004 Spring

May 29-31, 2004 – Although planned to be held at Water Works Park, a flood just before opening caused it to be hastily relocated to a corner parking lot at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. It wasn’t pretty, but at least it was dry.

2004 Fall

October 9-10, 2004 – A second faire was held later that year at the location originally planned for the Spring event.

2005

May 28-30, 2005 – This year, the event was held at the Iowa State Fair campgrounds in the location formerly used by the Iowa Renaissance Festival from 1993 to 1998. It was a way to say a fond farewell to the location where it all began.

2006 Spring

May 29, 2006 – A special Student Education Day event was held on the soccer fields at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park.

2006 – 2015

For the next ten years, the festival was held at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park as a Fall event.

2016 – 2018

At the end of the ten year agreement, Festivals International signed a three year “no compete” contract with Sleepy Hollow and agreed not to host the Des Moines Renaissance Faire again until 2019.

A brand new event started in 2016, and later, a second adults-only event, but they have asked us not to list them on this page.

2019

The Des Moines Renaissance Faire resumed at a new Northside Des Moines location just west of Saylorville, Iowa.

2020

August 7-8-9, 2020 – Back again near Saylorville behind Puttmasters At The Pines. This year we have about a 30% expansion, including a new forest area.

Also in 2020, there was a new pirate festival (not operated by us) announced but it was rescheduled and later postponed due to the Covid-19 situation. If rescheduling plans work for the different event operators, we should have four different events to check out in 2021, including the Des Moines Renaissance Faire.

Other Iowa Events

Iowa has been home to many other Renaissance Faires. There has been as many as six or seven operating at the same year. Here is a a list:

Currently Operating

1/9/2020 NOTE: We have been asked not to link to some events. We are not ignoring them or pretending they don’t exist. They asked us not to link to them, and we complied.

+ = Operated by us.

Former Festivals

  • A Renaissance Affaire (2001-2002) – Osceola
  • Amana Colonies Renaissance Festival – one of two events that operated there for a few years.
  • Dubuque Renaissance Festival
  • Mt Vernon Olde Worlde Faire
  • My Waterloo Days Renaissance Festival
  • Nishna River Renaissance Faire (2002-2003) – Hancock/Avoca
  • Nodaway Corn Carnival Renaissance Festival
  • Renaissance Faire of the Midlands – Council Bluffs
  • Salisbury Faire – Des Moines (1996?-2002)
  • Wartburg College Renaissance Festival
  • Wybreg Village Renaissance Festival (1999-2000) – Bonaparte
  • …and probably a few others!