The Utah Ren Fest had humble beginnings; created from a strong desire to have a great renaissance festival in Utah. We opened in 2006, for three days in May, thanks to the wonderful team at West Haven Parks department for giving our group a place to 'play'. The response from this modest little fair was overwhelming; supported by dozens of artisans, the festival, then known as the Utah Renaissance Festival & Fantasy Faire, needed a larger home, so in 2007, thanks to the generosity of the Smout family, it opened at a section of the old family farm in Marriott-Slaterville and the Knights of Mayhem jousted to the crowds delight. Yom al Had and Royal Magick as well as Eric Wanner's Gypsy Majick all amazed our guests.
As the old farm was being sold, we again had to look for a new site so from 2008 to 2015, (except for 2011), the event was held at the Tippets Family Farm in the western half of Marriott-Slaterville City; stages were built, arenas set up, a bread oven build and intensive cleanup of an old paintball establishment at the property all contributed to the development of the Festival.
2011 was an interesting year; the levees of the Weber County river overflowed due to a tremendous amount of snow pack and our faire site was under 3 to 15 feet of water. Planning to open May 6, with National Geographic planning to film segments of their Knights of Mayhem series, it became clear that there was no way to accomplish all of the necessary site preparation to have a great event that 'Nat Geo' needed for filming.
No pressure there; our festival was opening in three weeks with no site. National Geographic was coming; we had to have a miracle.
Enter Marriott-Slaterville city manager Bill Morris and Wil Vanderstappen of Consolidated Paving and Concrete; within a scant half hour, we had a new temporary site, just off 1900 west, and we were able to get everything set up to host the camera crews, our patrons and our 'faire family' merchants and performers. If you watch National Geographics 'Knights of Mayhem', you'll see our event as a backdrop for the knights.
We returned to the Tippets farm for a few more years, then moved again. The Blair family, who leased 80 acres to the Hodson family to raise hay, were comfortable with letting us set up at our site just of Exit 346 of I 15. By now the Knights had gone on to bigger things and we were working hard to promote a variety of equestrian events, including jousting games, archery and vaulting. Our equestrian games gave horse folk of all kinds the opportunity to 'train like a knight' garnering cash and prizes, without needing massively heavy suits of armor or having to risk serious injury.
We hope you'll love the new home, the Utah Ren Fest being open the last three weekends in May, the new Ravens Haven Tavern (its neighbor sells non alcoholic drinks created from honey), and our amazing performers and artisans. If you love renaissance festivals, performance art, history, or just about anything else that aligns with that, please visit us! Maybe become a part of our 'ren faire family'!
UTAH REN FEST
evolved from the Utah Renaissance Festival
& Fantasy Faire