According to Wikipedia (and who am I to argue with Wikipedia) Renaissance Faires began appearing in America shortly after WWII and have been growing in popularity ever since. They are also a uniquely American phenomenon, some being weekend attractions, others being semi-permanent theme parks. Renaissance Faires are intended to capture the life, culture and experience of living in Elizabethan England. While some faires take this more seriously than others, they're all pretty fun. If you love time-traveling to merry-old-England's Golden Age, take a look at this list of Renaissance Faires scheduled for 2013.
If you do a quick search of the web, you'll find several lists for Renaissance Faires. We like this one. The Renlist has fairs sorted by month and state, so it's easy to find one near you that's happening now. it also lists fairy fairs, pirate fairs, and even a mutton and mead festival (whatever that is). So take a look, spend a weekend in 16th century England, and go have some fun. Special thanks to The Ren List. Check out their list of Renaissance Faires here.