Renaissance ArtsFaire Saturday, Sunday in Las Cruces

Dancers perform during a past Renaissance ArtsFaire. The 40th annual festival takes place Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 5 and 6 at Young Park in Las Cruces. (Photo courtesy the Doña Ana Arts Council)

Doña Ana Arts Council puts on 40th annual festival

Doña Ana Arts Council

The Doña Ana Arts Council will stage  its 40th Annual Renaissance ArtsFaire Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 5 and 6, at Young Park in Las Cruces.

People come from all over the region to feast on turkey legs, sip libations, watch rats catapulted by The Ratcatcher and browse more than 150 artist vendor booths. The Renaissance ArtsFaire transforms the park into a magical realm where a medieval sensibility reigns throughout the weekend.

Featuring the largest juried art show in southern New Mexico, the 40th Annual Renaissance ArtsFaire offers a wide range of unique treasures, sights and sounds.

More than 150 artists and artisans from throughout the region and across the country will be on hand to sell original, handcrafted items, including jewelry, pottery and ceramics, photographs, leather goods, paintings and drawings, sculpture, toys, musical instruments, textiles and wood. In addition to the artists’ booths, the two-day festival features ongoing entertainment on the The Rio Grande Main Stage, The Merry Court of Sherwood Oak, The Middle Eastern Village and The Children’s Realm. World class wines and Fine Grog are available for tasting or purchasing in the Imperial Libation Garden.

Magellan, the Faire’s specially created dragon, spends the weekend overseeing the activities while floating lazily on Young Park Lake. Attendees daring enough can take a canoe ride to get “up close and personal” with the Faire’s most famous icon.

Proving that the annual Renaissance ArtsFaire has something for everyone, an unidentified "subject" endures the stocks at a prior edition of the popular festival. (Photo courtesy the The Doña Ana Arts Council)

The Society for Creative Anachronism, Amtgaard and the Adrian Empire fight for supremacy on the green. Knights and Ladies stroll the pathways, mixing with squires and peasants alike. The Merry Court of Sherwood Oak offers a fractured look into royal life of the period with the Queen’s “Bawdy Balladeer,” and a medieval “fashion show.” Attendees  will marvel at the belly gyrations of the Middle Eastern Village performers or decorate their own bellies with henna tattoos.

The hills of Young Park will be alive with the sounds of music by minstrels from near and far. People can get close to the Hawkquest majestic birds of prey and be see magicians, jugglers and theatrical acts. The Ratcatcher will fling his airborne rodents and pumpkins for more catapulting fun during this 40th anniversary.

Children can join in the Renaissance fun in the Children’s Realm. They can shoot arrows, feed the alligator, try the Knight’s Ring and Dragon Toss, and make their own crowns, swords or helmets. Children also can dig for fossils or shop for bargains at the Peddler’s Market while their parents enjoy a glass of wine or grog in the Imperial Libation Garden.

The Faire will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Gate admission is $6 for adults. Children 12 and younger will be admitted free. Proceeds from the Faire are designated for art programs and other cultural activities in the community — all sponsored by the Doña Ana Arts Council.

For health and safety reasons, no pets — except service animals — will be admitted to the Faire.

Young Park is one block south of the intersection of Lohman Avenue and Walnut Street and is accessible from both I-25 (Lohman exit) and I-10 (Amador exit).  To avoid parking congestion, attendees are encouraged to ride the free shuttle from the Mesilla Valley Mall. It goes to and from the park. Sign will be posted to direct traffic. The pick- up area is on  southwest corner of the mall near Cineport 10 movie theaters. The shuttle will run every 10 to 15 minutes beginning at 8 .m. each day.  More information may be obtained by contacting The Dona Ana Arts Council at (575) 523-6403, via email or online at



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