A weekend escape to a fantasy world full of pirates and faeries can be had Saturday and Sunday in South Elgin. The World of Faeries Festival flies back to Vasa Park to celebrate its eighth year. The theme, "Pieces of Eight," reflects the year of the event. The festival theme changes every year, but always involves faeries.
Pirate activities, skits and memorabilia will accompany the faerie events. "We tell people to leave their grown-up at home," festival coordinator Gloria Yaeger said.
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Events, games and shows will fill the park, on Route 31, five miles north of St. Charles, beginning at 10 a.m. each day.
Yaeger said a scavenger hunt can be played at people's convenience throughout the event. When they enter the park they are given a piece of paper to bring to the Pixie Post Office -- an information booth at the fest -- which will provide people with the first clue. Yaeger encourages people to leave suggestions for future festivals.
Yaeger's favorite show is performed by Bubble Master Geoff Akins. He creates impossible bubbles and amazes the audience. Yaeger said he has made square bubbles, bubbles to walk through and can even put people inside a bubble. Akins will perform from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
Many historical events and shows will be at the fair. The Swords of Valour will perform non-choreographed demonstrations. They will also teach children different techniques with their safety rounded swords. Falcons will visit the fest again this weekend. People will be able to hold the birds and watch them fly back to their owner on command.
Yaeger said to be on the lookout for a vintage pirate's cannon demonstration that will blast at different times throughout the weekend.
Vendors are plentiful and will sell artwork, books, clothes, sculptures and jewelry, Yaeger said.
Entertainment will be endless. A dozen actors will walk around the grounds in character, interacting with the crowd.
"I'll have music going all day long," Yaeger said.
Magic Mamma makes many of her own instruments from bits and pieces of the environment and recyclables, Yaeger said. Magic Mamma is very environmentally friendly and will perform with her instruments to send her message to the audience throughout the weekend. Many other bands will perform too. Yaeger suggests people listen Randy Granger perform with his flute.
The event takes a lot of planning. "We're blessed because a lot of people have taken us under their wing," Yaeger said, noting more than 20 volunteers help make this fest grow every year. Attendance increases by a couple hundred people each year, Yaeger added.
"This is something unique and different in Illinois," Yaeger said. "It's not what we plan, it's what you don't (plan) that really makes the fest ... it's the spontaneous things that happen that make it fun."