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Pleasure Faire Heads Inland for New Home

Times Staff Writer

Evicted from its traditional site in Los Angeles County and rebuffed in an attempt to relocate in Ventura County, the Renaissance Pleasure Faire apparently has found a new home at last--in San Bernardino County.

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors will vote today on a proposal to hold the colorful annual re-creation of Elizabethan England this spring in a park 55 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

Earlier this month, fair officials withdrew an application to hold the event on a site in eastern Ventura County because of opposition from residents worried about increased traffic.

Organizers said they were invited to hold the festival in the 1,425-acre Glen Helen Regional Park by the San Bernardino County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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‘Beautiful . . . Lots of Parking’

“It’s a beautiful site, and they have lots and lots of parking,” fair spokesman Kevin Patterson said.

Dan Stark, director of the convention bureau, said fair officials have agreed to pay $60,000 to rent the park for seven consecutive weekends beginning May 13. The park is south of the intersection of Interstates 15 and 215, northwest of San Bernardino.

Barbara Riordan, chairwoman of the five-member Board of Supervisors, called the fair “a real entertainment opportunity for residents of the Inland Empire.”

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Supervisor Jon Mikels, whose district includes the park, said he supports use of the site by the fair.

The hilly park has two man-made lakes and was the site of the US Festival, a rock and country music event in 1982 and 1983 that drew 175,000 people a day.

12,000 a Day Expected

The fair is expected to draw about 12,000 people a day, fair spokesman Eric Stoltz said.

“I’m really excited that such a nice cultural event would locate here,” Mikels said. “I think the traffic is well within what the roads can handle.”

Organizers have been looking for a site since April, when the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission approved a developer’s request to build a gated community on the fair’s longtime site in Agoura.

In January, they announced that the fair had rented a 139-acre parcel between Moorpark and Thousand Oaks. But residents near the site objected, saying the event would bring 4,702 to 5,762 cars per day, creating intolerable traffic congestion.

Cities Disapprove

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Officials from the cities of Moorpark and Thousand Oaks had also expressed disapproval of the proposed location in the Tierra Rejada Greenbelt, saying it was improper to make commercial use of the unincorporated area a mile west of the Moorpark Freeway.

“There is not a receptive political climate in Ventura County for the Renaissance Pleasure Faire,” Patterson said in announcing cancellation of plans to stage the event there. Refunds will be available for the several thousand people who bought tickets to attend the fair in Ventura County, he said.

Organizers had been hoping to begin the year’s festival on May 6 in Ventura County.


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