While some fairs are designed to let you step back into the past, to times of knights and royalty, a few go one step beyond, and bring you into a world of magic and fantasy. That’s the general idea behind the San Jose Fantasy Faire, which took place this past weekend.
To imagine what the Fantasy Faire is like, first picture a Renaissance Faire. There are knights, peasants, nobility, and plenty of performances to see, food to eat, and crafts to buy. Then add in some Disney, so you can see Elsa and Snow White interact with each other and the children visiting. Throw in a fair amount of pirates for a bit of spice and swashbuckling. Then sprinkle in a nice helping of science fiction, so as to bring in The Doctor and a few Jedi knights among the classic knights. That should give you a good general idea of what the Fantasy Faire is like.
With all the different genres and series that created the Fantasy Faire, there was no way to be out of place there. Activity-wise, it contained many of the classics of a Ren Faire; there were a few game stations to participate in games from times long past (and also giant jenga), storytellers and bards to entertain throughout the day, and a few places to stop for sword lessons (some swords were foam, others were not). Notable attractions also included a giant rocking horse, and two different stages for various performances, from song and dance to stories for the kids.
However, there were some additions that one couldn’t normally see, such as an area set up for denizens of Oz, or a tavern where pirates relaxed, although how much one could interact with them varied from place to place. Adding to the science fiction elements were two noteworthy additions: a life-sized TARDIS (accompanied by 10nant Cosplay), and a car decked out to look like an Imperial tank from Star Wars.
For those with money to spend, there was a nice range of tents set up selling weapons, props, costumes, or other souvenirs. Many were handmade, and very impressive at that, though those who would rather spend a bit less to be in costume could rent from an assortment of faire garb.
However, this was the last year the faire would be held at its current location. An announcement on the San Jose Fantasy Faire’s Facebook page declared that next year’s event will take place in Discovery Park, in order to better accommodate the ever-growing crowd of attendees. So next year’s will be an entirely new experience in many ways, and attendees are looking forward to it.
Between the performances to see, activities to participate in, and food to eat, there was plenty to do at the San Jose Fantasy Faire. The weather was nice, the faire entertaining, and the attendees usually friendly. All in all, a fine way to spend the weekend.
All photos taken by Perry “Agent P” Louie