Hear ye, hear ye the Kingdom of Riverssance returns

 October 04, 2012 12:00 am  • 

A hawk was a featured attraction during the Birds of Prey demonstration at Riverssance Saturday.

Sioux City’s favorite (and only) Renaissance fair, River-Cade’s Kingdom of Riverssance, graces Riverside Park with its presence this weekend.

The ninth gathering and eight year of the festival, Friar Phil Claeys remains in charge of the realm. So how does he keep the whole event working year after year?

“I’ve been doing this a while, and the key is to work it all year,” Claeys explained. “There are no problems in the Kingdom of Riverssance, it belongs to all of us. Everybody does their part. I have a small army of volunteers who love it as much as I do.”

Kicking off the 50th year of River-Cade expect Riverssance to be more exciting than ever before. Enter the Rogues, one of the best Celtic bands around, a fire-eating show, The Birds of Prey bird show, jousting plus two different traveling encampments. Along with the usual cast of characters, (the Weekender’s favorite 21 and over event) the Pirate Smoker will be back in all of its bawdy action.

“I love it when some people who are real straight-laced get in there with their beer mug and just really get into it,” Claeys said of the event that allows guests for one hour to drink as much as possible, smoke a cigar, eat a turkey leg all while being highly entertained by the beer wenches, cleavage contest, belly dancing and hilarious pirates.

 Friday and Saturday, Riverside Park will be transformed into a family-friendly atmosphere welcome to all. 




Harvest Moon Riverssance Festival

  Sioux City, Iowa's Ren fair grows every year and embraces the harvest of the first week end of October.  Elite performers like travleing gypsies of the past, captivate us with  falcons, noble steeds, jouosting, sword fighting and an abundence of amazing professional historical reenactments of the 16th century. 


Maybe it’s the mystery of the Harvest Moon, the absolute joy of releasing our inner child into a 16th centruy time capsule that embraces the intrigue and pagentry of the Riverssance Fair.  As ancient historical England spins further and further into the past we find ourselves coming full circle to our roots.  How so?  There is something about colorful canvas tents, nature, art and music that sings to the soul.  We give ourselves permission to step into the  best of the Medieval Days, away from depressing television news casts and  doom and gloom documetaries.  Adults and children alike can have a play day together.  Its an amazing event where beautiful men and women look stunning, and the ordinary look interesting.  Whether you dress up as a 16th century character or come as you are, it's all good and the power of the Riverssance fair.

Handsome warriors on horseback, falcons and owls on the arms of woodsmen and maidens, sword fighters and jousters walk the village square. Noble men and elegant ladies of the court walk amongst Belly dancers with undulating core muscle strength, who whirl and twirl with colorful scarves adorned with bells. All walk to the beat of drums and flute.  Armor, tights, tunics, chain link, knee high boots, capes, swirling skirts, and corsetts are the norm here.  Casually strolling visitors and entertainers browse amongst wondrous shops. Period clothing, fairy wings, wood carved dragons, walking staffs, palm reading, exotic oils, honey and a wine tasting are just a few of what vendors offer.  A gypsy blows fire into the air in a scarlet vest; a Sheba dances out of her tent balancing swords on her head,  and everywhere is fragrant food and wonder. This is an ancient circus where we the participants are allowed to be a part of the show or sit and watch in fascination.

October 4th and 5th is when jewel toned gold, tangerine and scarlet leaves burst into autumn splendor, a perfect back drop by the Missouri River where giant oak trees thrive. Professional Jousters from famous Rennisance fairs are finising up and heading home, a great time to catch them for Sioux City Riverssance.  Magnificent blue skies bring exotic costumes, and cooler days invite layers of capes and shawls, crackling fires and warm brew.  Each year's weather is another unique movie back drop and we invite you to be a villager in the Kingdom of Riverssance.

Ann Marie O'Dell  Posted on October 15th, 2012