Sunday, July 28, 2013

July 27, 2013 - Faerieworlds Festival, Eugene Oregon - A Sojourn To the Realm

The entrance to the lair of The Lost Boys,
a place of special enchantment for children
Faerieworlds Festival© Eugene, Oregon

At one point or another almost everyone believes in faeries.  Look at how many children put teeth under their pillows, or clap to save Tinkerbelle’s life in act three of Peter Pan.  Okay, I clap too.  I’m not willing to take the risk.  If you spend any time alone in a forest, particularly a Red Wood grove, it’s easy to accept the existence of such elementals, or at the very least, gnomes.

When you spend serious time in America’s Pacific Northwest, you learn several things about Oregon relatively quickly:  The trees are enormous, the beaches are publicly owned, the scenery is majestic, and while Portland values its reputation for weirdness, Eugene, Oregon, the true Emerald City, is an actual state of mind.  If you were to select any city to host Faerieworlds Festival, hands down you’d choose Eugene.  It’s surrounded by forest, its parks and recreational areas are legendary and it is probably one of the most environmentally
Official barbarian 'fae wackers' stalk faeries
throughout the festival - a young faerie prepares
to defend herself - Faerieworlds Festival©, Eugene, Oregon
friendly places on earth. In Eugene, recycling is a bonafide sport.  Lots of places talk about honoring diversity, but for more than fifty years Eugene has walked the walk. No wonder the Fae love it.

Once a year, denizens of the faerie world gather at Bufford Park on the outskirts of Eugene.  Tents sprout up among the trees like mushrooms – yurts, domes, tepees, one person tent-bags – you name it.  The costumes are truly amazing and the atmosphere, intoxicating.  Live music, Celtic, as well as Pagan/Folk rises above the trees from three stages.  Vendors display exotic fares.  Children follow the trail of the Lost Boys to discover a mermaid lagoon as well as various games that blend magic with cognitive skills.  Hey, after all, Eugene is a university town (Go Ducks!) and known for creating new trends in education. Wizards and trolls hoist tankards together at Oberon’s Traveling Tavern. (Four distinctly different styles of mead!)  Young ladies, wearing little more than strategically placed feathers dance with Cernunnos and his consort while families casually stroll by.  This is the enchantment of a place like Eugene.  Breech-clouted, barbarian men dance right along side mothers and daughters in matching Barbie© fairy costumes and no one minds because they share an elemental link – a longing to escape the mundane and for the brief span of three days, entertain the magical.

As the sun goes down, the faery revels begin in earnest.  Aerialists twirl and pose above their audience.  Incandescent jellyfish and willow-the-wisps flow against the backdrop of a night sky.  Revelers dance to Pagan/Folk music long into the night.  And somewhere along a ridge top, not far from the festival site, underneath the Douglas Firs, ferns and branches of Oregon Grape, you’ll see the wee folk, the faeries, smiling indulgently at their human counterparts.  They understand that imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery.


Below are links to YouTube clips that give you a taste of the Faerieworlds experience.  Please check them out. I'll post more links as 2013 videos are posted.

1 comment:

  1. WOW I can't wait too attend next years events! This sounds amazing.