About Festivals International

Festivals International has been creating events for almost three decades. It is based out of Clear Lake, Iowa and is operated by Gregory and Bonnie Schmidt. 

About Gregory Schmidt

Greg is a native of Iowa and has earned recognition as a documentary film and video producer. He is also a two-time recipient of the Individual Artist Grant award from the Iowa Arts Council. As a health researcher and motivational speaker, he has published his first audiobook Your Life – Beyond 2000. Greg is currently developing an Iowa Opera House Network and will be appearing in a one-person play on “Billy Sunday”. 

About Bonnie Schmidt

Bonnie serves as co-producer of many of Festivals International’s activities including the International May Festival. She studies the medicinal properties of herbs and spices and essential oils and works with a Nutritionist/Herbalist.

Festivals International Timeline:

  • 1992 — Festivals International forms.
  • 1992 — The first Iowa Renaissance Festival is held at the North Iowa Fairgrounds in Mason City.
  • 1993 — Iowa Renaissance Festival moves to the State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.
  • 1994 — International May Festival begins in Des Moines.
  • 1998 — International May Festival moves to Clear Lake.
  • 2000 — Iowa Renaissance Festival moves to Middle Amana Park in the heart of Iowa County.
  • 2000 — Midwest Millennium Festival produced near Chicago. 
  • 2001 — The first Fiesta Cerro Gordo “Mother’s Day Gift Mart” is scheduled in Mason City, Iowa.
  • 2003 — Nebraska Renaissance Faire begins in Ashland, Nebraska.
  • 2004 — Des Moines Renaissance Faire begins in Des Moines with Spring and Fall events. 
  • 2005 — Nebraska Ren Faire moves to Omaha. Four Kingdoms Ren Fest begins in Rock Island, Illinois. Construction beings on Festival Park in Des Moines, future home of Iowa’s first permanent renaissance festival. 
  • 2006 — The Des Moines Ren Faire moves to the a three weekend Fall event. The Iowa Pumpkin Festival is held in October.
  • 2007 — Lincolnshire Ren Faire beings in Decatur, Illinois. Nebraska Renaissance Faire moves to a new home at the Bellevue Berry Farm and Pumpkin Ranch near Omaha, Nebraska. 
  • 2008 — Midlands Pirate Festival begins near Omaha, Nebraska.
  • 2014Greater Quad Cities Renaissance Faire begins.
  • 2015 — Midlands Pirates Festival moves to a new location in Omaha, Nebraska.
  • 2016 — Nebraska Renaissance Faire joins the Midlands Pirate Festival at the same new location for a new “double festival” event.
  • 2018Midlands Renaissance Revel & Pirate Festival begins.
  • …to be continued!

Other events coordinated by Festivals International have included two years with the San Antonio Spring Renaissance Faire and a year with the Indiana Renaissance Faire.