Silver Bowl Park to host Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival

It's time to strap on that corset, kilt or suit of chain mail that's been hiding in your closet and head to the Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival.

The fair is set to open this weekend in its temporary home at Silver Bowl Park, 6800 E. Russell Road.

For most of its 18 years, the festival has circled the lake at Sunset Park, 2601 E. Sunset Road, but this year it has been shifted to accommodate ongoing renovations. The move has created challenges but new opportunities, too.

"You won't have to walk around a lake this year, so there won't be such a separation between the two sides of the event," said Brian Saliba, special events director for Clark County Parks & Recreation. "Since we can't fire cannons across the lake this year, we're creating a little battlefield."

While Silver Bowl Park doesn't have the wooded setting Sunset Park does, it does offer ample parking and room to spread out a little.

"The space is double what we have at Sunset Park," Saliba said. "We're probably up 10 percent on the number of vendors this year."

Local meteorologist, celebrity and bow-tie enthusiast Nathan Tannenbaum, who has been the reigning King of the Faire for nearly a decade, is excited about the prospects of the new location.

"It'll be different, that's for sure," said Tannenbaum. "It sounds like it's going to be a really interesting changeup. There have been some concerns about shade, but most of the guilds have tents."

Tannenbaum added that on a personal note this will be an exciting faire because he'll finally get his own costume after wearing a rental for years.

"My queen is making it," said Tannenbaum, referring to Queen Catherine of the Kingdom of Corethea, who goes by Shari Xander when she isn't portraying royalty. "She makes a lot of costumes for the guild, and she wanted me to have my own after all these years."

Most of the changes to the Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival will be additions to the elements that fairgoers return to see every year.

"One big new thing this year is an English village," Saliba said. "The camel rides are coming back, which was new last year. The dinner fest is returning."

Saliba is particularly excited about the return of the Wicked Tinkers after an eight-year hiatus. The band defies easy categorization, playing what might best be described as traditional Celtic music with a rock 'n' roll sensibility.

"They participate in another festival, the Pleasure Faire in Southern California," Saliba said. "Usually they're there during our event. But this year, the dates didn't overlap."

Silver Bowl Park is adjacent to Sam Boyd Stadium, 7000 E. Russell Road, and parking will be offered across the street at the stadium.

"I suspect there may be some confusion about parking," Tannenbaum said. "But there's plenty of it, and really it's easy to find. Just follow the signs. My only real concern now is awareness of the move."

As excited as Tannenbaum is about the new venue, there's another festival he's looking forward to even more.

"When they get Sunset Park fixed up," he said, "it's really going to be something."

Whether the Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival returns to Sunset Park in 2012 or 2013 is still up in the air, pending construction progress.

This year's festival is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10 per day for adults and $5 per day for seniors and children 5 to 12. Tickets are available through or at the gate. No coolers are allowed, and patrons may bring in only one sealed bottle of water per person. For more information, visit

Contact Sunrise/Whitney View reporter F. Andrew Taylor at or 380-4532.