Once upon a time, the land of Faerie joined for one magical weekend with the land of humans in a meadow outside the town of Eugene, Oregon. The air was filled with the music of harps and violins, the chiming of bells, and the laughter of many strange and wonderful creatures. Where once an open meadow had stood, a city of tents and pavilions sprang up with bright colored streamers and banners proclaiming the Faerieworlds festival had arrived. Iridescent wings of green and gold, pink and yellow, blue and red, and every color imaginable caught the sunlight and threw back rainbows through the crowd of humans and Fantastic creatures gathered in the pathways of the spontaneous magical village.
At the center of the festival grounds was a wide-open court adorned with a circle of standing stones. Fairies danced in and out of the circle and all around the court, wings flashing, ribbons flying, and jewels sparkling.
Any wanderer seeking shade or the comfort of food and drink could turn right at the end of the court and find a welcoming cheery company at Oberon’s Traveling Tavern, or journey a bit further for all manner of otherworldly treats and hearty human fare. Travelers were wise to be weary, however, for if they wandered too far they would find themselves in Neverworlds, the shadiest corner of the Faerieworlds festival grounds; the rebel Puck held court over the rowdiest fauns at Puck’s Grotto, and nearby in the shade of the forest’s edge was rumored to be a haunt of pirates, and a frequent stomping ground of ogres. Ultimately, there was no need for fear, for it was discovered that the ogres and pirates of the woods had a fondness for children that melted their icy hearts, and children abounded in that part of the festival.
Music could be heard wherever you went, whether it was one of the big acts on the main stage or a violinist who laid down a carpet in an open space and started to play. Musicians ingrained in the fantasy community were there, as well as first-time-at-Faerieworlds performers who might not have realized what a fantastic audience they would have in fairies.
There were so many little details that made this event special: a couple was married there this weekend (pictured below). A local ice cream company, not normally very Fantastic, renamed their sizes pixie, sprite, and fairy and adorned themselves in horns and wings to honor the event. Lost cash was returned. A first aid booth gave away a seemingly endless supply of sunscreen. The staff themselves had a truly endless supply of smiles and helpful directions. Even the bruised grass underfoot smelled sweet and fresh in the summer air. The less you would fit in anywhere else, the more you were celebrated here. Kindness, acceptance, and the enjoyment of beauty and nature were the rule of the day.
While we were trying on a set of soft wings at Firebird Fae Couture—a fabulous vendor Fairyroom just so happened to have profiled in June—someone told one of the shop fairies that she bought her first cloak there on her first day of her first visit to Faerieworlds years ago. The shop fairy replied, “It was love at first fair.”
We found so many things to share with you over these past few days. Look forward to features and profiles of many vendors and musical acts that attended Faerieworlds over the coming year until we can all enter the realm again at Faerieworlds 2013.
Did you see our daily highlights posts with lots and lots of photos? You can still enjoy them now that Faerieworlds is over! Here is Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Also, check here for a fun, brief recount of an individual at Faerieworlds.
I took way more photos of people today because it was at least my tenth time around to all the wonderful vendor booths. There will be plenty of merchandise pics to entice your inner shopper on our Facebook album!
A dancer with soft fairy wings in front of Samba Ja, a local music group that drummed around the festival today.
A freestanding doorway in Neverworlds, the children’s area of the festival (although there were plenty of adults enjoying the shade and smaller stage performances). The door harkened back to the wardrobe entrance to Narnia. What does the door lead to?
This dancer was grooving to the amazing drum-heavy melodies of Baka Beyond. “I heard that you all loved to dance!” lead singer Ellie Jamison called out to the crowd, “I heard that you all loved life!”
Two pastel costumes (and the lovely ladies wearing them!). Saw these two happily posing for many a picture today.
I thought that these three were excellent of examples of how a few Fantastic details–and some bright, bold colors—make your everyday clothing perfect for a day in the realm.
Seven stones sit in a circle in the middle of the field where Faerieworlds is held all year long. For the event, coordinators circled the stones with bits of forest and built a beautiful wooden alter in the middle. This woman in full Fantastic cat wares did what I had been thinking about all weekend—climbing on those stones!
This magician was one of the many performers who weren’t hired for the event, but simply laid out some stage space for themselves and entertained passersby. I was happy to see most of the fairies were generous with attention, applause, and tips. Look forward to a pretty great video!
The staff at Oberon’s Traveling Tavern—one of two places to get alcohol at the Festival, including 15% proof mead—were amazing: in full costume, high spirits, and easy laughter. Check out those little gears on this wench’s décolletage! Those were glued on and she told us she was seeing some distinct tan lines after her third day in the bright summer sun.
We absolutely loved these hand-painted signs from Slightly and Sigmata’s Sign Shop. They have a bunch of fantasy standbys, perfect for some fantastic misdirection in your garden, or custom lettering for a truly bright and beautiful address plaque on the front of your house.
This is our last day of Faerieworlds coverage! We were surprised by how sad we were to leave the festival, considering our sunburns and aching feet. I have never felt such a warm sense of camaraderie in such a big place. We were truly transported to the fairy realm. We can’t wait to go back every summer!