South Elgin Faeries Festival attracts true believers, casual visitors

  • Camille and identical twin sister Kennerly Kitt of Chicago entertain fans and fairies Sunday at the World of Faeries Festival in South Elgin. They play electric/acoustic harps as the Harp Twins.

      Camille and identical twin sister Kennerly Kitt of Chicago entertain fans and fairies Sunday at the World of Faeries Festival in South Elgin. They play electric/acoustic harps as the Harp Twins. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Joanna Mattaliano, 30, of Huntley dressed as a water fairy Sunday to attend the World of Faeries Festival, which was part Renaissance fair and part Comic-Con all rolled into one in South Elgin.

      Joanna Mattaliano, 30, of Huntley dressed as a water fairy Sunday to attend the World of Faeries Festival, which was part Renaissance fair and part Comic-Con all rolled into one in South Elgin. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Lia Martino, 6, of Pingree Grove dressed as a water fairy Sunday while visiting the World of Faeries Festival in South Elgin.

      Lia Martino, 6, of Pingree Grove dressed as a water fairy Sunday while visiting the World of Faeries Festival in South Elgin. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Rachel Michalak, 16, of Minooka attended the World of Faeries Festival in South Elgin on Sunday with other mythical creatures and water fairies.

      Rachel Michalak, 16, of Minooka attended the World of Faeries Festival in South Elgin on Sunday with other mythical creatures and water fairies. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Demiana Presto-Martin, 13, of Justice at the World of Faeries Festival in South Elgin on Sunday.

      Demiana Presto-Martin, 13, of Justice at the World of Faeries Festival in South Elgin on Sunday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
Updated 8/5/2018 6:34 PM

Whether you would answer Peter Pan's famous "Do You Believe in Fairies?" question in the affirmative, you could still spend an entertaining day without at The World of Faeries Festival, held over the weekend in South Elgin.

Visitors to Vasa Park for the 14th annual edition of the festival could buy ice cream from a dragon, mingle with visitors wearing wings, browse tents offering everything from magic healing wands to flower crowns, and listen to artists like Randy Granger playing a native flute.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Sporting a straw hat adorned with butterflies and affecting an English accent, Joshua Safford of Chicago wandered the grounds distributing a newspaper called the "Daily Crock." He said he was an ambassador from fairyland making his journal available to humans.

The presiding geniuses of this mixture are David and Gloria Yaeger, the organizers of the festival. David Yaeger said around 2,300 people attended the event last year.

"It's a fantasy festival," said Yaeger, a Crystal Lake resident who was dressed as a "green man" in a Celtic outfit consisting of a green and purple kilt, a pouch called a sporran and elf shoes. He pointed out that the venue is peaceful, family-friendly and alcohol-free.

"We have had people say we love the park because no matter where we are, wherever our kids go, we can see them. We know that they're going to be safe," he said.

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Several children visited the fairy post office, where they wrote letters to their favorite fairies. Tending the post office Sunday was Elgin resident Wendy Dickman-Ray, who was wearing wings while accompanying 3-year-old son Braedon, dressed in a butterfly outfit.

Nikole Olheiser of Wauconda, who was at the festival with 8-year-old daughter Olivia and wearing flowers in her hair, said she had such a good experience last year, she brought her neighbors.

"I just think it's a cute little thing and it's reasonably priced for the kids. And then they get to dress up and have fun and see people walking around looking like things that they dream about," she said.

Olivia said she not only believes in fairies, but also unicorns.

Not everyone who attended dressed up.

"I'm maintaining a low profile," said Clare Ollayos of Elgin, who was clothed casually but added she ultimately plans to break out a fairy costume for a future gathering. "This is one of my favorite summer festivals to come to. I love the music, love the atmosphere."

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