Yes, this is the event that was held on Sleepy Hollow property from 2006 to 2015. A new event started there in 2016. We are not associated with that event. Here are details on all the various faires that have been held here.

A Brief History of Renaissance Festivals in Des Moines, Iowa

1997 photo of Iowa Renaissance Festival at State Fairgrounds.

Des Moines has been home to several Renaissance festivals over the years. We started the first one, Iowa Renaissance Festival. It 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.

In 1996, Salisbury House Foundation began Salisbury Faire, held across the bridge at Water Works Park. It had a reported annual attendance of over 24,000 over its 3-day run. Its final year was 2002.

Des Moines was left faire-less, so in 2003 we announced a new event for the area: Des Moines Renaissance Faire to be held the following Spring 2004.

History of “Des Moines Renaissance Faire”

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 Spring

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 1999. 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 on Sleepy Hollow Sports Park property.

2006 – 2015 Fall

For the next ten years, the festival was held on Sleepy Hollow Sports Park property 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 Fall

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

2020 Summer

August 7-8-9, 2020 – Back again near Saylorville on property owned by Puttmasters At The Pines. This year we had 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 all of these events return in 2021, we will have four different costume events operating, including the Des Moines Renaissance Faire.

2021 Spring

May 14-15-16,2021 – Des Moines Renaissance Faire returns to the Spring. Two new forest expansions were added, as well as a new entrance that takes guests down a tree-lined path through the forest.

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:

Current Iowa Festivals

1/9/2020 NOTE: An event we had listed asked us to remove their link. We are not ignoring them or pretending they don’t exist. They told us not to link to them, and we complied.

+ = Operated by us.

Former Iowa 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!