By Anne Harnagel
August 1, 2013, 7:30 a.m.
Those who want to rub elbows with royalty — and can’t make the jaunt across the pond — should head this month to the kingdom of Big Bear and its Renaissance Faire.
New this year is the Tea Pavilion, where visitors can enjoy a cuppa and a special treat with Queen Elizabeth I. They will learn about the Renaissance from the queen herself and her special “guests,” which may include Queen Victoria and the Queen of the Gypsies. Sir John Smythe of the queen’s royal court is hosting a similar gathering called the Warrior’s Table, where guests can mingle with the Knights of Mayhem, pirates and more. Each get-together is $10 per person.
Also new is the Royal Gallery, where guests can sit with Queen Elizabeth I and her court at the 1 p.m. joust or join visiting royalty at the 4 p.m. contest. The cost is $5 per person and includes a souvenir photo.
The new activities are in addition to the strolling performers, full-contact jousts, six stages of live entertainment, an aerial performance stage, a children’s stage and Scalawags Cove, with an array of games and activities — Drench the Wench, anyone? — hosted by pirates.
The Big Bear Renaissance Faire, now in its 12th year, has grown to three weekends: this Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 10-11, and 17-18. It takes place at Pedersen Sawmill in Fawnskin, 39115 Rim of the World Drive.
Adult admission, $15; weekend pass, $26; and season pass, $73. Seniors, military, students and children, ages 6 to 12, $12; weekend pass, $20 and season pass, $55. Advanced tickets and lodging packages can be ordered online or by calling (800) 424-4232.