On May 11th and 12th, 1963, Pacifica Radio in Los Angeles presented the first Renaissance Pleasure Faire and May Market.
Culled from nearly six hours of live broadcasting, in celebration of the 50 years since the founding of this iconic Californian cultural event, forty minutes of the pageantry and revelry from the Pleasure Faire has been lovingly edited down from the original reel tape into a commemorative soundscape and generously shared by one of the radio host's and co-founder of the Firesign Theatre, David Ossman.
Phyllis Patterson, a high school history and English teacher, home on maternity leave and her husband, Ron Patterson, a theatrical and whimsical art director at a Hollywood graphics firm were on the forefront of inventive new theater.
The couple invited neighborhood schoolchildren, many the offspring of Hollywood writers, directors and musicians to sign up for innovative new drama and art classes called "Into the Woods." To quote the Renaissance Pleasure Faire history page, there, in the Hills of Hollywood: "they gathered around them a band of merry artists, actors and musicians, and a thrilling concept was conceived."
Curated by the Patterson Family, the Renaissance Pleasure Faire online history page records a rich and significant cultural experience enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of participants and time traveling visitors since that first weekend in May 1963.
Two commemorative books also provide an illuminating insight into this much loved American phenomenon. Though there have been many spin-off events around the United States over the past many decades, there was and will always be only one authentic Renaissance Pleasure Faire. Happy Half Century RPF.