OK, I may not be purely worthy because for a moment I really really wanted to see Flugtag, but there is simply no contest when it comes right down to it. I am part faery inside, I believe in faeries and dragons and magic, and my daughter couldn’t agree more. What did we do? My man went to flugtag, we fey folk went to Veneta, Oregon.
We heard about Faerieworlds for the first time right after we moved to Portland last year. We have been to many Ren faires and thought “Faeries? Why not?” We had such a brilliant time we deemed it a family tradition immediately.
The drive is slightly tedious, but it does prevent us from having to find overnight arrangements. And since my fab little Saturn gets 37 miles to the gallon, gas was even cheaper than a hotel room! Besides, Oregon is such a beautiful state to look at, even from I-5, I don’t mind THAT much. My girl brought her Mad Libs and we entertained ourselves with adjectives, nouns, adverbs, as well as “nonsense words” and “parts of the body” for much of the trip. (If you’ve never played Mad Libs, you’re missing out)
My honey packed a cooler for us the day before, so we didn’t have to buy any expensive faire food, and he put in about 12 bottles of water, which was brilliant. At first the day was cool, grey and cloudy, but by early afternoon it was hot and sunny like I expect central Oregon to be.
The location is truly exquisite, as you may ascertain from the photos. I have long known about myself that I need my horizon broken up rather than flat, and the Secret House Winery grounds are in a beautiful location for that. We were surrounded by hills and forests in the background, with colorful tents and tarps and flags and banners reminiscent of Camelot.
The faeries were beautiful and wicked and clever, as we expected. And they were accommodating to the others who decided to attend: the dragons, elves, wizards, pirates, green men, woods folk, knights and ladies of the renaissance. There was chain mail, armour, and lots of kilts. I saw a new group this year, which I called the Dirty Faeries, who were perhaps less refined than most of the fae folk. Dirty Faeries had wings made of leaves and sticks, and wore rags and leaves. They covered their faces in mud, and decorated their bodies in hand prints of dyed muds. Very primal.
There were a lot of Goth faeries this year, and pregnant faeries, with big bare bellies supported by wings. There were incredible, incredible wings. Teeny tiny wings. Gauze wings, feather wings, fur wings, glitter wings, wings of leaves, wings of tinsel. There were fabric wings that hung down, and huge net wings that spread ten feet across. There were Black Leather dragon wings that spread twenty feet across in order to pose for a photo.
Way way way more vendors. One of the new ones was a favourite: they attached gorgeous feather accents to your eyelashes, along with bright sparkly makeup around your eyes. So many creative handcrafted things. Honestly, I wonder how they sell some of that stuff. It’s really astonishingly clever, but, um, what would one do with a four foot high faery castle built painstakingly of tiny round
river stones with real stained glass windows lit up with led lights inside? Beautiful, no denying that. And it must have taken a hundred hours to complete. It’s just that…well, I sort of need to spend my money at Safeway. (maybe not everyone at the faire counts pennies like me) There was even a vendor called “Crystal Tara!”
My little fairy had been saving her coins for months and months in order to buy a new fairy outfit here this year. She was on happiness drugs bouncing from stall to stall, trying on dresses and skirts and tops and wings and wraps. Just like a chocolate OD at Christmastime, she eventually did crash into a complete tearful meltdown, but we worked our way through it.
Saturday was Bad Fairy Day, so she stuck with the theme and got a bad fairy outfit. She spent every penny she had saved up and is very thrilled with her fairy stuff. I am very pleased that both the top and bottom she chose are adjustable, so she can wear it again next year. I couldn’t help but be a Mom, and gave her a lecture on how the outfit is ok for a costume at Faerieworlds, but she will not be allowed to wear it in regular life. Too much skin, eh? Having a growing gorgeous girl is exciting and scary at the same time.
We found that since both of us wanted to be there so much, we stayed longer than last year and got to enjoy more of the music. We started off with the Wicker Men, whom I am pleased to see have made it to the Main Stage in only one year. Last year they drug their teensy mobile stage beneath a tree outside Faerieworlds, near the ticket area, and gathered a large crowd quickly. They were soon offered a place on the second stage. This year, they’re a headliner band. That is awesome foresight on the parts of both artists and event producers. Each band got more danceable, and we were soon dancing and laughing and bonding with the other magical beings. When we needed a rest, we sat in the shade of a gigantic tree with a lovely couple of women from Seattle, and one of them was also named Tara!
Most of all, we soaked up the magical spirit of the place. The pirate emcee and the green man emcee constantly reminded us to pick up our trash, to recycle what we could, to wash our hands and keep the grubby goblins away, and to keep tabs on our small fairies because they were easily whisked away into faery land, and they both told us to take the magic back into the rest of the world, where it is desperately needed.