View of an Appalachian forest and hills from atop a rock promontory.

The Shepherdstown Fairy Festival is a place where Faerie meets our human Reality.  A place where humans can meet and mingle with goblins, satyrs, giants, mermaids, and all variety of Fae.  It is a shared living fairy tale.  Who knows what tales will unfold as the community comes together to celebrate the beauty of Fall and the magic of storytelling?  The story begins this October.

What would you like to know?

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What exactly is a Fairy Festival?

Festival Policies and Frequently Asked Questions

What is a fairy festival?

A fairy festival is an outdoor celebration featuring costuming, food, handicrafts, music, and entertainment.  Each fairy festival is a unique entity with its own lore and specific focus.  Fairy festivals are an offshoot from Renaissance Faires, but instead of having a historical theme, they draw their influences from traditional fairy lore, fairy tales, and folklore.  Though fairy traditions have a strong root in Western European storytelling and a heavy British Victorian influence, we not only welcome, but encourage the inclusion of creatures and folk from all the traditions of the world.  We welcome diversity in all its forms.

When is the Fairy Festival?

Saturday 10/15 10am-7pm

Sunday 10/16 10am-6pm

Where is the Fairy Festival?

The Amp at Sam Michaels Park

235 Sam Michaels Lane

Shenandoah Junction, WV 25442

What about Accessibility?

This is an outdoor event on a grass lawn and it has some hills.  We will have designated parking for those with disabilities and will have benches and other seating available throughout the festival grounds for those who need a rest. 

ASL translators will be present for stage shows and author talks. 

 

We provide a staffed quiet tent where folks can go to decompress should they feel overwhelmed. 

There will be a baby changing tent in the Children's Glen as well as a Calm Tent for kids and families to destress and unwind as needed.

 

Please contact us about other accomodations you may need.  Additional services will be added here as they are requested and arranged.

Do I have to wear a costume?

Not at all – please come as you are!  If you do want to dress up, please feel free to go all out!  But if you're new to costuming or to fairy costumes, please don’t feel intimidated. Costumes are for everyone and they can be as simple as a bit of makeup and a thrift store ensemble. Fairy festivals are a welcoming and friendly environment where you can feel safe to try something new.  We will be posting some tips and ideas on our social media over the course of the next couple weeks.

What is your weapons policy?

The Wild Fae’s truce holds for all participants, Fae and human alike.  As such, any weapons that are part of your costume must be peace-tied (bound with cord so that it cannot be easily drawn).  We prefer no live-steel (sharpened blades).  We respectfully ask that no firearms, concealed or otherwise, real or prop-piece be present at our event.

Can I bring my dog?

We ask that patrons only bring trained service animals to our festival.  Thank you for understanding.

However, if you want to bring your ridiculously friendly goat or pig... nervermind, I'm just kidding... I think.

What about parking?

It's free and there's plenty of it!  Please follow the signs and the directions of the parking crew?

What is your weapons policy?

The Wild Fae’s truce holds for all participants, Fae and human alike.  As such, any weapons that are part of your costume must be peace-tied (bound with cord so that it cannot be easily drawn).  We prefer no live-steel (sharpened blades).  We respectfully ask that no firearms, concealed or otherwise, real or prop-piece be present at our event.

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Celebrate the Storytellers
Festival Guest Authors

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What is a celebration of magic, stories, and storytelling without the storytellers themselves? 

You can hear, meet, talk with, and have books autographed by three amazing bestselling fantasy writers at The Shepherdstown Fairy Festival.

Cover Image: Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville

Bruce Coville

Bruce Coville has been publishing books even longer than Tammy has!  He’s written about everything from Unicorns to Aliens.  Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher tells the story of a boy who comes home with a dragon’s egg after going into the mysterious magic shop.  There’s Jennifer Murdley’s Toad who is an expert at celebrity impressions.  And Russell who leaves the magic shop with a magical ring that turns him into a monster.  Then he has three different series about Aliens.  There’s the International bestselling series My Teacher is an Alien, and I Was a Sixth Grade Alien, and the Rod Albright Alien Adventures.  His beautiful picture book Sarah’s Unicorn was one of my favorites as a child.  He’s just announced the title for the 7th and final volume in The Unicorn Chronicles: The Gathered Glory.

Cover Image: The Sisters Grimm Book 1: The Fairytale Detectives by Michael Buckley

Michael Buckley

The nine books of Michael Buckley’s bestselling Sisters Grimm series began with The Fairy-Tale Detectives in which Daphne and Sabrina discover they are not only descendants of the famous Brothers Grimm, but they are the guardians of Ferryport Landing where all the fairytale characters live.  Snow White is a beloved school teacher, The Three Pigs are police officers, Prince Charming is Town Mayor, Red Riding Hood is a sociopath and everyone from Pinocchio to Puck, Morgan Le Fey and the Cowardly Lion has a cameo at some point in the 9 book series.  He’s also the author of the N.E.R.D.S. Series and Finn and the Intergalactic Lunchbox.

And because stories can be told in pictures as well as in words...

Kevin O'Malley

Beloved Baltimore Author- Illustrator and notorious punster Kevin O’Malley will be around all weekend drawing pictures for folks and creating twisted modern fairytale retellings with the help of the kids in the audience.  Check out his book Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude and it’s sequel Once Upon a Royal Superbaby, or the Captain Raptor Series.  And there are his fabulous illustrations in How They Croaked and Something Rotten: A Fresh Look at Roadkill.  Or two of my favorites: Gimme Cracked Corn and I Will Share and Animal Crackers Fly The Coop.

Cover Image: Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude
Cover Image: Animal Crackers Fly The Coop
Cover Image: How They Croaked
Cover Image: Velcome
Cover Image: Mount Olympus Basketball

We are sorry to inform folks that Tamora Pierce will not be able to attend the festival after all.  If you purchased tickets already and would like a refund please message me at emmacasale@thefairiesarecoming.com

The Festival Fairytale
 

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K   itty's Curious Carnival
 

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Photo Credit  Steve Parke

In 2017, Her Royal Majesty, The Queen of the Fae designated The Shepherdstown Fairy Shop an Official Embassy and appointed Miss Emma, The Fairy Lady, to the position of Local Ambassador of the Fae.  Miss Emma thought this was just because she was so good at welcoming people and sharing her knowledge of the Fae.  As it turns out, there was a little something Miss Emma didn't know. 

Her great great grandmother was part Fae. But that's not all! Her great great grandmother was just a little bit famous among the Fae. Her name was Kitty O'Donnell.

Back in the 1840s, Kitty O'Donnell found herself unsuited to live her life as a proper young woman in Baltimore.  So she ran away to join a circus.  One Autumn day while traveling through the Appalachian mountains, she stepped left when everyone else stepped right and found herself at the edge of Faerie.  She went on many fairy adventures, discovering on one of them that her real father was a goblin… and a junk dealer.  This was less shocking than one might suppose.

  

Eventually, to the surprise of many in Faerie, Kitty decided to go back to the human world.  Those who knew her best understood.  You see, Kitty still had a hankering for the circus life, and she knew there were others like herself in the human world - those with fae blood who didn’t quite fit.  She wanted to find them.  

 

Three of Kitty’s closest friends went with her to the Human world: two Fae and a human changeling who had never quite felt that they fit in Faerie and who wished to see what it might be like to live among the humans.  The four companions became the core of a new traveling show.  

 

So began the days of Kitty’s Curious Carnival, a traveling haven for those who didn’t quite fit in this place or in that.  All were welcome: human or Fae, for as long as they needed to be there.

For 150 years, Kitty and her circus traveled the between spaces of the Appalachian mountains.  Until one year they didn’t. No one, not even the Queen of the Fae herself knows where they went.

 

Miss Emma, through a series of coincidences and unexpected discoveries (and a strange encounter with a fairy fortune teller) learned about her famous ancestor and her traveling circus.  And so, the Shepherdstown Fairy Lady decided, now is the time to manifest her dream, and create The Shepherdstown Fairy Festival.  She hopes it will be a community every bit as wonderful as the folk of Kitty’s Curious Carnival.

There are many cautionary tales about the Fair Folk.  Warnings to neither eat nor drink the food of the Fae, to keep one’s name secret, and to be very careful of making any bargains.  By royal decree of the Queen of the Fae as agreed upon by all relevant fae courts, unions, and alliances,  fairy festivals are places where humans need not fear the Fae.  Safe passage for humans does not necessarily mean that all the Fae are welcome.  

 

Sometimes the two fairy courts, Seelie and Unseelie just can’t seem to get along.  At such times the only Unseelie permitted in the Seelie Court are the appointed ambassadors, and only the appointed Seelie ambassadors are permitted at Unseelie events.  The Seelie Court rules in Summer and is often associated with Sunlight.  The Unseelie rules in Winter, during the Darkness.  Folk often forget that these two courts are not one good and one bad, nature isn’t like that and there are dangerous creatures in both of the two courts.

 

The Shepherdstown Fairy Festival is the domain of a third group: the Wild Fae.  The Wild Fae are a loose alliance of folk who belong to neither Seelie Court nor Unseelie.  Neither Summer nor Winter.  Neither this nor that.  Wild Fae are the creatures of Spring and Autumn, of dawn and twilight, of the in-between.  Where the Wild Fae hold sway, there is truce between Seelie and Unseelie, which is why the Wild Fae host the Passing of the Crown Ceremony each Spring and Autumn.  This autumn, the Passing of the Crown ceremony will be held during The Shepherdstown Fairy Festival at Sam Michaels Park on Saturday, October 15th.

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About the Organizer: Emma Casale

she discovered she’s better at ideas and fictional journalism than performing.

  

Before starting her brick and mortar shop, she was a traveling artist-vendor for ten years and has vended at a number of large festivals including Spoutwood Faerie Festival, Maryland Faerie Festival, New York Faerie Festival, Festival of Legends and Faeriecon East.

Emma was a bookseller for sixteen years at The Children’s Bookstore in Baltimore, MD, from 1997 until 2013.  She managed The Children’s Bookstore Stage and Tent at The Baltimore Book Festival from 2000-2012 where she recruited, scheduled, and hosted major authors as well as moderating panel discussions with them.

A voracious lifelong reader of Fantasy, Fairy Tales and Folklore, Emma graduated from The Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars in 2000, realizing that more than anything, she wanted to tell fantasy stories to young people.  She introduced the Harry Potter Generation to the beloved series while bringing a young group of insatiable readers of fantasy together to form The Children’s Bookstore Fantasy Club, reading and discussing the newest and best Young Adult fantasy being published at the time.  They continued meeting for ten years, in the process publishing two journals of their own fantasy art and writing.  At the same time she also ran occasional weeklong writing workshops for middle school students in the Baltimore City Public Schools.

  

Since she has yet to find her own way into Faerie, Emma Casale has decided to bring Faerie into the Real World through The Shepherdstown Fairy Festival. Hosting and organizing her own large Fairy Festival has been part of her long term dream for more than a decade.

Picture of Emma Casale wearing teal corset, fairy wings, tiara, and sparkly teal ram hourns.  She is looking at the camera to her right, with her hands on her hips.

Emma Casale has been a small business owner in Shepherdstown WV for the past 7 years.

Her shop Creative Procrastinations and Whimsical Necessities, on West German St., sells an eclectic mix of fairy, fantasy, and pop culture inspired items.  The locals know it as “The Fairy Shop” and Emma is known as The Fairy Lady.  At her shop in pre-Covid times, she hosted many Fairy Tea Parties for children, with fancy china, crafts, games and fairy lore.  

 

She has run the children’s craft tent at Spoutwood, organized and managed author appearances at FaerieCon East, and initiated the communal kitchen at Festival of Legends, where she now holds the position of Fairy Foster Mother and Director of the Children’s Glen. 

She tried her hand at character performance as Kitty O’Donnell, Fae Journalist and Backyard Fairy Breeder at New York Faerie Festival, where

Image of Emma Casale wearing goblin horns and a red clown nose.  She is crossing her eyes to look at her nose.
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The Program

Specific details about the Festival performers, special guests, musical acts as well as a list of exhibitors, food vendors etc. will be added as we come closer to the event.  You can follow our facebook or instagram pages for real-time announcements.

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