Joliet’s Fairy Festival is a day just for the girls
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media May 3, 2012 9:56AM
The annual Fairy Festival will take place at Pilcher Park in Joliet on May 5. | File Photo
♦ May 5
♦ Pilcher Park Nature Center, 2501 Highland Park Drive, Joliet
♦ (815) 741-7277
Updated: May 3, 2012 9:56AM
It’s time to brush the fairy dust on your wings and shine up your wand.
The Joliet Park District presents its annual Fairy Festival from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. May 5 at the Pilcher Park Nature Center in Joliet. The Fairy Fest is a chance for fairies and woodland creatures alike to enjoy fairy flower walks, discover fairy food, make enchanted crafts and be entertained by winged hostesses.
Fest-goers are encouraged to wear their favorite fairy costumes, said Debbie Greene, superintendent with the Joliet Park District.
A 9 a.m. Breakfast with the Fairies costs an extra $5 and includes pancakes, sausage and a beverage with tableside fairy visits.
“Most of them come dressed as fairies,” she said. “Years ago, one of the big crafts we did was to make wings, but now almost all of them come in costume. It is adorable. We have a Cinderella carriage — a big, white pumpkin carriage — and they get to ride in the Cinderella carriage with a white horse.”
Little fairies will also attend “fairy school,” where they will receive invisible lessons, take the fairy pledge and learn to fly and use their wings in a fairy flight simulator.
“We have a bubble station where they dance with the bubbles,” she said. “We have a fairy tale booth where they can sit and read or listen to fairy tales. We have a wand-making station where they make wands. And this year they are going to plant fairy plants in little fairy pots and they can decorate their pots.”
There will be plenty of adult and teenage fairies on hand to help the wee ones with their crafts, she added.
“We take fairy walks and look at wildflowers, because fairies live under May apples,” Greene said. “It’s going to be a little bit harder this year because the wild flowers are almost done. They shouldn’t be done until June.”
Greene started the Fairy Festival about 10 years ago at the Horticultural Center, but recently moved it to Pilcher Park.
“It seems it’s more suited to the woodland. We like it better in the woods,” she said. “When we walk on the paths, there are several trees that have fairies in them. The fairies seems to have gathered this way.”
The festival has grown each year, going from about 100 kids the first year to close to 800 last year, she said.
“It gets bigger every year,” she said. “This year we have two carriages because we had so many people in line for the carriage rides. It’s so beautiful and it’s such a great photo op, all the little girls in their fairy dresses and wings. It’s just so magical. It’s a really magical festival.”
If you don’t have a fairy costume or wings, fret not. There will be wing-making stations and several fairy vendors onsite to help out.
“Some people even bring their dogs with fairy wings,” she said. “We had a goat once with fairy wings.”
Fairies should expect magic, she said, along with lots of flowers and ribbons and fairy dust.
“They should come out expecting magic,” she said. “Definitely bring the camera. There’s nothing more beautiful than the fairies walking through the trees and walking on the trail and playing in the bubbles. It’s such a fun thing, and it’s a great thing for grandmas to do with their grandchildren. It’s a special time you can come out and spend with your children.”