Heart of the Forest Renaissance Faire
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Origins Photo Gallery | Folk Traditions | More Photo Galleries

The First Renaissance Faire

This photo was taken in 1963 in Laurel Canyon in the Hollywood Hills. Pictured left to right are Phyllis Patterson, Ron Patterson, and Judy Kory. The Piccolo Players, Phyllis Patterson's children's theater group at the very first Renaissance Faire on May 11 and 12, 1963, used the Commedia cart.

Ed Mann of Los Angeles built the Cart pictured and plans to help Kevin and Leslie Patterson build a new one! Ed and Zona Mann, along with many other parents of children in the Piccolo Players, volunteered their many creative abilities in the early sixties to create what would become a nationwide theatrical and handcraft movement.

The Next Generation of The Patterson Family!

The next generation of Faire producers, Kevin and Leslie Patterson, (pictured at right with son's Michael and Andrew), began their new Heart of the Forest Renaissance Faires in Santa Barbara in 2000. The tradition continues as we move into our 2005 season, with the return of The Heart Of The Forest Faire in beautiful Lake Tahoe and Novato.

Stafford Lake OakA New Faire Tradition at Stafford Lake Park in Marin County

In September 2002, the Pattersons introduced a second location for their Heart of the Forest Renaissance Faire -- beautiful Stafford Lake Park in Marin County, 22 miles north of San Francisco. Like the Faire in Santa Barbara, the Marin County location focuses on authenticity, quality hand crafts and the continuation of the spirit of the early years of the Faire. Long live the Faire!

The Spirit of the Renaissance

The original Renaissance Faires in America were started in 1963 by Ronald and Phyllis Patterson of Los Angeles. The first Faires partook of the rich lore and age-old customs of English springtime markets and "Maying" customs. Five years later, the Pattersons created a fall Renaissance Faire, with a harvest festival theme, in Marin County north of San Francisco. Both Faires developed into local traditions and began a movement that spread across the country. There are now over 100 independently owned and operated Renaissance Faires throughout the United States and Canada.

Kevin and Leslie Patterson & Red Barn Productions are bringing the concept full circle by continuing the vision of Ron and Phyllis Patterson with the Heart of the Forest Renaissance Faires. These newly redesigned Faires continue the Patterson's history of innovation by honoring the traditions of Springtime and Midsummer. Special parades and pageants will mark these seasonal celebrations.

Long live the spirit of the Renaissance!

We invite you to travel back into the past in the Origins Photo Gallery. All the images in this gallery were scanned from a leather-bound photo album created by Ron Patterson back in the 1960s. Enjoy!


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