There’s something for everyone at the 45th Annual Renaissance ArtsFaire, sponsored by the Doña Ana Arts Council. When you visit Young Park on November 5 and 6, you can expect great entertainment, lots of delicious food, vendors offering period crafts as well as plenty of contemporary art, and when you need to break from all the fun, the Dragon’s Eye Tavern awaits.
The Dragon’s Eye Tavern will offer a place to get off your feet, enjoy a meal you picked up from one of the many food booths, and quench your thirst with some local wine or beer. You’ll find the tavern right next to Young Park Lake where you can enjoy the relaxing view of canoe riders circling Magellan the Dragon. Experience wines from St. Clair and beers from microbrewers such as High Desert Brewery, Spotted Dog Brewery, Picacho Peak Brewery, and Bosque Brewing Company.
Maritza Gomez of St. Clair Winery says, “RenFaire is fun for kids and fun for grown-ups. Having the wine adds to the fun for grown-ups. We take some of our rustic wines … and the food is so good!”
Visitors may buy a bottle to take home or enjoy glass there. St. Clair will have several of their labels on hand and a good variety of their select, most-sought-after wines. Hand-crafted RenFaire wine goblets and 45th Annual RenFaire commemorative beer glasses will be available for sale at their booth, too.
Gomez says, “One thing about our winery is that we are truly the largest producing vineyard in the state with just under 200 acres of grapes that we make all our wines from. We are a truly New Mexico product. We don’t source any grapes from California or anywhere else.” She adds, “We submit our wines for competition pretty frequently. One of the wines we’re taking to the RenFaire is our 2013 Renaissance, which won a gold medal earlier this year.”
Donna Almarez of High Desert Brewers is organizing the breweries participating at this year’s RenFaire. “This will be our second year at RenFaire. We thought we should have some good old Renaissance beer there. If you look at the Middle Ages, the monks were making beer and wine and good old English taverns were the norm.”
Almarez adds, “There’s no additional charge to get into the tavern area. It will be fenced off and people will be able to purchase pints of hand-crafted microbrew beers. We are going to have tables and chairs set up so, if they choose, they can bring in food from any of the other vendors. It’s a place for them to come in, sit down, and enjoy a beer or glass of wine.”
The 45th Annual Renaissance ArtsFaire is a bargain, with tickets only $8 per person and children 12 and under entering for free. (Tickets are also available on-line, with a small convenience fee, at riograndetheatre.com). Park at the southwest corner of the Mesilla Valley Mall parking lot and take the free Park n’ Ride shuttle that runs every 15 minutes.
Make the weekend even more special by purchasing a VIP Pass: $60 includes two-person one day entry, access to the VIP tent with refreshments and up-front views of jousting, photo ops with jousters, preferred parking for one vehicle, and two vintage Ren Faire T-shirts. For out-of-town visitors, a special VIP Renaissance weekend package is available at Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces by calling 532-4253.
Fair hours are Saturday, November 5, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday, November 6, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Young Park (just south of Lohman Ave. on Walnut). More information may be found online at daarts.org or by calling 523-6403.