Please download our Press Kit for use in press or promotion. This packet is a .zip file containing our logo, photos from our Renaissance Faire years past, as well a pdf copy of our Press Release. Please let us know if you have any questions or need any additional material.
Event Dates: Sept. 3-5 (Labor Day Weekend), Sept. 10-11, Sept. 17-18
Time: 10am – 6pm Rain or Shine
Discount Tickets: sleepyhollowtickets.com
2016 HERALDS IN MANY CHANGES FOR
THE RENAISSANCE FAIRE AT SLEEPY HOLLOW!
EXCITEMENT IS PALPABLE!
At the top of the list is a 5-acre expansion—complete with new castle! But running a close second is the fact that the faire is now under new management! Sleepy Hollow is managing the faire now instead of the previous out-of-town producer, which means patrons will get more for their admission: more national touring acts, more merchandise vendors, more games, and more cuisine options.
Sleepy Hollow took over management after the 10th season of the Des Moines Renaissance Faire, when their contract with the previous management expired. “It has always been a fun event, but we have had a lot of ideas for expanding and improving it, which we had to put on hold until now,” says Rick Flatt, Sleepy Hollow President. “It is very exciting to be able to implement these changes and grow the event.”
Patrons will notice the most immediate change: the addition of a “Scottish Realm,” featuring the newly constructed Rickenmare Castle. It towers over the 5-acre expansion and includes a field where Highland games, sheep dog demonstrations, and birds of prey shows will be held. The expansive meadow also delivers a gypsy wagon encampment with a stage for belly dancers, a nordic Viking tent village, and more merchants—many of whom are new to the Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow.
Equally as exciting, but a little less obvious, is the upgraded entertainment. “With a substantially bigger budget, we have been able to attract some great national talent,” says Lynne Melssen, entertainment director. “All in all, we have 18 different acts—twice as many as we had in 2015!—performing on 12 stages, 5 of which are new. We not only have our local favorites that fans come back for year after year, but we also have acts such as Molotov, Musical Blades, Better Than Nun, and others that patrons may have only seen at the big Renaissance faires.”
“In all reality,” adds Flatt, “you probably can’t see all the acts you’d like to see in a single day. That’s why we offer a 2-day pass as well as a season pass.” When patrons leave the park after a long, fun-filled day, if they’d like to return for the entertainment or shopping they may have missed, they may opt to turn in their 1-day pass and upgrade to either a 2-day pass or a season pass—at a discounted rate, of course. But this opportunity is only good before they leave the faire grounds!
All stage and living-history encampment entertainment is free with paid admission, of course, though a modest extra fee is charged for those who would like to take a turn at the archery range, the knife toss, or the Whack-A-Knight booth (a fan-favorite, where children and adults can select a padded weapon to “attack” a knight). Regardless of where patrons are located on the festival grounds, they will run into all kinds of village characters keen on interacting with them. Sometimes it is difficult to tell who is a guest and who is a villager, as patrons are encouraged to come dressed in costumes. “What makes the Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow really fun,” says Flatt, “is that you can immerse yourself totally in the festival atmosphere or just come to observe.”
Rounding out the additions for 2016 are the dozen or more new merchants, including never-before artisans such as the Glass Bee Hive, which features handmade stained glass work, and Panlora, which creates adorable, one-of-a-kind “critters” suitable for child and adult alike. “This year we will likely hit 60 merchandise vendors—and more keep popping up at the last moment,” says Dori Hein, merchant coordinator. “Vendors are really excited about the management change and eager to partake in the Sleepy Hollow faire!” The increase in merchants is significant—nearly 25% more than last year. In addition to handcrafted wares, the food choices have also expanded for 2016. “The faire’s new food items include Indian Fry Bread Tacos and an ice cream line from Michigan—yum!” says Hein.
To celebrate their exciting new upgrades, Sleepy Hollow is offering substantial discounts to patrons who purchase their tickets in advance. Guests can take advantage of these discounts by going to sleepyhollowtickets.com. Another way to save is to pick up a coupon at local Casey’s stores.
“Trust us, you’ll find something to do that interests every member of the family,” says Flatt.