Ren Fair pioneer, Ron Patterson, dead at 80

If you enjoy wearing tights, playing a lute, eating turkey legs, and doing it all for paying crowds, you may have Ron Patterson to thank. Patterson, who created Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Southern California in 1963, is credited with having founded the modern Renaissance Fair.

In the early 60s, Patterson and his wife Phyllis created a children's commedia dell’arte troupe from which grew a Faire based on 16th century country faires. The one-time art director served as "Master of the Revels — equal parts lord mayor, court jester and benevolent tout — heralding attractions in impeccable Elizabethan English."

Ron Patterson died January 15, 2011 in Sausalito, California. He was 80 years old.