Jousting on tap at Renaissance Faire |

Jousting on tap at Renaissance Faire

Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune file / The Valhalla Renaissance Faire will take place at Camp Richardson the first two weekends in June.

When the Valhalla Renaissance Faire returns to Tahoe next month, the women of the old Elizabethan culture may not be the only ones thrusting out their chests.

This year’s event scheduled June 3, 4, 10 and 11 at Camp Richardson Resort features a style of jousting that requires the knights to take the brunt of the sword in their chests instead of their arm shields.

No arm shields will be used for the hard-hitting “lance splitting,” event co-organizer and producer Marti Miernik indicated.

“The body takes more of the hit,” she said, speaking for Renaissance productions of San Francisco.

It’s the first year for Miernik and producer Bill Watters to put on the Tahoe version of an event known for its lyrical wit of the Shakespeare era and its crowds of thousands. The group, which organizes the Golden Gate Renaissance Festival in San Francisco, came on board when Marin event organizer As You Like It Productions from last year opted out.

Camp Richardson Resort spokeswoman Missy Springer said the resort off Highway 89 was elated when they were approached to rent space by the group, which is listed on the Internet under

The producers have enlisted volunteering and promotional help from the Tahoe Tallac Association. The arts group once put on the festival until a few years ago when the desire to add more weekends resulted in a breakdown of negotiations. Consequently, one year was missed.

“We’re excited about the Ren Faire and us being a part of it,” said Greta Hambsch, chairwoman for the Tallac Association, one of the two listed benefactors of the event. “We’re a benefactor, but we’re just happy to have it back. It’s a great community event.”

Visitors to the Valhalla Renaissance Faire may find it more visible in other ways. The event spans over 7 acres and will be easily seen from the road.

The three stages of scheduled events have expanded to four – with live sword fighting, children’s games, educational demonstrations, jugglers, magicians, minstrels and food and retail vendors on hand.

Renaissance player Rydell Downward, who will man the Queen’s Court, said his goal is to recreate the characters as accurately as possible.

He became active in the craft in 1979 through his love of history and drama.

He believes the art would die without these types of festivals.

The hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. On Sunday, the event ends at 5 p.m. Ticket prices have been lowered to $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, military and teenagers aged 13-17. Its costs $5 for children between 6 and 12. Those under 6 get in free.

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