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The Doña Ana Arts Council herefore issues said proclamation declaring Saturday, November 1st & Sunday, November 2nd the 43rd Annual Renaissance ArtsFaire! Come one, come all to feast on turkey legs, sip a libation, watch “rats” catapulted by Robert The Ratcatcher and browse through over 150 artist and food booths. The Renaissance ArtsFaire transforms Young Park, in Las Cruces, New Mexico, into a magical realm where a medieval sensibility reigns throughout the entire weekend. Featuring the largest juried art show in Southern New Mexico, the 43rd Annual Renaissance ArtsFaire offers unique treasures for all.

Quality artists from across the country will be in the main art realm to sell original, handcrafted items, including jewelry, pottery and ceramics, photographs, leather goods, paintings and drawings, sculpture, toys, textiles and wood. This year we invite you to visit one of our newest realms; the Craft Market, for affordable quality crafts for the entire family. In addition to the artists’ booths, the two-day festival features on-going entertainment on The Rio Grande Main Stage, The Merry Court of Sherwood Oak, The Middle Eastern Village and The Children’s Realm. Ambient entertainment will excite the faire patrons throughout the park all day both days. World class wines and Fine Grog are available for tasting or purchasing in the Imperial Libation Garden.

Magellan, the Faire’s dragon and most famous icon, will return to Young Park lake and guard the faire in his new reimagined form. Be sure and spot him at his post in the lake.  Magellan is our most beloved attraction and anticipation is growing!

This year we have a very special wedding party joining the Royal Procession on Saturday. Be sure and bless the happy couple after the ceremony immediately following the procession at the Main Stage.

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The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), and Amtgard fight for supremacy on the green. Knights and Ladies stroll the pathways, mixing with squires and peasants alike. The Merry Court of Sherwood Oak and The Royal Court of the Southern Field offer looks into royal life of the period with many activities and performances, such as medieval “fashion shows”, Tapestries, Parrots of the New World, and too many wondrous sights to mention. With two Royal Courts this year, bountiful wonders are sure to please. Marvel at the dancers of the Middle Eastern Village performers, or decorate your belly with a henna tattoo. The hills of Young Park will be alive with the sights and sounds of entertainment from near and far. The Ratcatcher will fling his airborne rodents and pumpkins for more catapulting fun, and giant wandering Puppets will delight during this 43rd anniversary.

Children can join in the Renaissance fun in the Children’s Realm; shoot some arrows, feed the Potter’s Guild alligator, try the Knight’s Ring and Dragon Toss and make your own oddities of the past! Children and adults can also shop for bargains at the Peddler’s Market where young merchants may sell their hand-made wares.

The Faire will be open 10am – 5pm on Saturday and 10am – 4pm on Sunday.  Gate admission is $6.00 for adults, children 12 and under are 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 the first time ever, advance tickets will be available online at www.holdmyticket.com. There is a small service fee for advance tickets.

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Pets, except for service animals, are not allowed at the faire for health and safety reasons.

People attending the faire can also witness the return of Magellan, the popular mascot of the Doña Ana Arts Council’s Renaissance ArtsFaire. The dragon has been the mascot for more than 20 years and  it has undergone extensive renovations to meet the high-tech demands of the 21st century.

Magellan's transformation took more than two years of hard work and collaboration between artists, engineers, New Mexico State University students and community benefactors. The dragon renovation project was funded with a grant from Dr. Pat Hines and the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium. Artist Bob Diven, who designed the original dragon over two decades ago, guided Capstone students from the NMSU's engineering department in the redesign and reconstruction of Magellan.

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Robotics installed in the mascot's upper body allows the head, neck and jaw to turn. Magellan can now raise its head; open its mouth; and can also blow smoke from its nostrils. The new and improved dragon is lighter, stronger and more animated. With space-age technology the dragon is more charming than ever, and delights the young and old alike. Don't miss out on Magellan's debut at the faire.

Young Park is located one block south of the intersection of Lohman and Walnut Avenues and is easily accessible from both I-25 (Lohman exit) and I-10 (Amador exit). To avoid parking congestion, attendees are encouraged to ride the free shuttle. The pick up and drop off location for the shuttle has returned to the Mesilla Valley Mall parking lot (I-25 Lohman Exit, SW parking lot corner near the Cineport 10). The shuttle will run every 10 - 15 minutes beginning at 9am each day.  Additional Faire information may be obtained by contacting The Dona Ana Arts Council at (575) 523-6403, via email infodaac@daarts.org or online at www.las-cruces-arts.org.