Sunday, October 2, 2011

Does insect repellent work on Fairies?

The Kings Park Festival is run over the month of September and offers an  array of events, from stunning outdoor wildflower displays and photography exhibits, to live music, theatre and fairy festivals. There were interactive art and gardening workshops and a range of guided walks ensuring that there was something for everyone.  Being new to Perth, and always a little bit slow off the starting block, our family joined in on the festivities on the final day of the month long event.  The ‘Wild Fairyland Festival’ called upon all fairies, elves, wizards, pixies and crazy people not afraid of large crowds and a child sized version of Gallipoli to join the entire (under 10) population of Perth in an enchanted forest filled with fun.
Still waiting on the arrival of our belongings  from Milan, Italy, and from Newcastle, NSW, there was no fairy costume on hand so I twinkled up my princess as best I could with a ballet skirt and some plaits in her hair.  Truth be told, she looked more like a Rastafarian hip hop dancer than a fairy, but we are about to enter an imaginary world, so we will just have to imagine she looks like Tinker bell at a Rave Party.  We are going on a fairy hunt… had to throw the word hunt in their just to testosterone it up for my husband and son.

We have never really been that lucky with car parking.  I am the sort of person to drive in circles for 30 minutes until I can nab a park in the 5 minute parking bay to run in for some milk.  My husband on the other hand, admits defeat before he even starts to search, and happily parks away from the destination, leaving spare parks in between, (just so others feel lucky I think).  But today was our lucky day.  I was under the assumption that it would be extremely crowded, the fairy festival ran from 10am to 3pm, so being extra organised, we arrived half an hour early and managed a car park right at the entrance for the wildflower garden.  What luck!  We started our fairy hunt walking across the elevated bridge, then over the glass bridge, (not too many fairies at this point), then around the pond, and past the water fountain.  The grass in this area of Kings Park is pristine.  Similar to a golf course, smooth, with rolling hills, it was just screaming “come ride me on your beer carton grass sled”!  But as it was only 10am, I was yet to consume a carton of beer, and besides I was on a fairy hunt.  Who I am beginning to think are pretty good at hiding.  I’ve been talking this up to the kids all morning. Where are those damn fairies?

We followed some coloured flags, saw some pretty flowers, and found a coffee shop where we were alerted of the fact that we were on the wrong side of the park.  I should of known my parking curse was not lifted, we were such a way away, that we had to hop in the car, drive 5 minutes, then catch a shuttle bus.  Once again my sense of direction has led me astray.

I have a degree in patience and toleration, (in other words, I used to work in early education before I decided to make this my career 24/7 and unpaid), so I am used to hoards of little people high on lollies and atmosphere, it does not scare me.  But imagine if you will, a fairy mosh pit.  This is what greeted us at our first stage show.  Hundreds of fairies jumping up and down, taking out fellow fairy friends with wings instead of elbows and using their wands as weapons.  (Think about it, a wand is just a sharp stick with a ninja star on top!)  This is not the scary part for me; what frightens me most are the adults dressed in costumes.  Dragons, fairies, wizards and gum nuts.  Grown adults dressed as characters scares me just about as much as a hairy tarantula hanging out on my bedroom ceiling as I go to bed at night.  I have had a fear of a fat spider landing on my face ever since I saw the “Brady Bunch go to Hawaii” movie about 25 years ago. Strangely enough I had no problem watching “Nightmare on Elm Street” at the same age, weird.  Anyway… grownups with curled green glitter eyelashes that tap their owners forehead and chin every time they are blinked, should only be found in a drag show; not in a park wishing young children free photos and magic wishes of happiness.
Okay.  I am climbing off my self-centred horse now and realising that perhaps the Fairyland Festival is for the entertainment of young children, not me? 

As far as a festival goes, it was no ‘Woodstock’, but it was only a gold coin donation as entry, we had a free bus shuttle from our car to the entrance, and an extra-large sausage and bread roll only cost $3, (not $7.50 which is general cost at theme parks or fairs).  The children watched an interactive environmental show, danced with fairies and dragons in a mosh pit, got tangled in ribbons dancing around a maypole, and even had a free pony ride!

The Wild Fairyland Festival will definitely be revisited next year, only next time we will come more prepared.  For starters, we will know where to park the car, we will come with a picnic rug, BBQ lunch, or even a wizard tepee, and of course an extra-large can of insect repellent for any of those winged fairies that freak mummy out a little bit too much.

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