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Elizabethan Times Reborn

March 25, 1993

Two jousters riding horseback rush toward each other at a furious pace and take deadly aim with their lances.

Meanwhile, strolling minstrels, jesters and magicians entertain the King and his court. Artisans proudly display their wares, and food and drink are abundant for all to enjoy.

Similar scenes of the Elizabethan era will be re-created this weekend at the Ojai Renaissance Festival at Lake Casitas. The two-day event promises to be bigger and better than last year's inaugural festival, organizers said.

"It's going to be amazing," organizer Richard Wixon said. "We've doubled the size of the festival."

About 100 acres of lakeside land will abound with a variety of entertainment, including the artwork and foods of more than 90 artisans and vendors.

Besides jousting and archery exhibitions, 12 camps--each with 40 to 80 players--will re-enact Elizabethan-era performing arts and give a sense of what life was like then.

"All of the encampments are accurate and historically correct," Wixon said.

Wixon said organizers have signed a five-year contract to hold the festival twice yearly at Lake Casitas. The next festival is scheduled Sept. 18 and 19.

Proceeds will benefit a number of nonprofit organizations, including Surf Riders Foundation, Support the Children Foundation and the Optimist Club.

The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Admission is $7, $5 students and senior citizens over 65, and $4 for children.

The entrance to Lake Casitas is at California 150 and Santa Ana Road near Oak View. Parking at Lake Casitas is $2 and overnight camping is available (call 649-2233). For festival information, call 640-0400.

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