Crystal Caves in South River turning into Faerie Village

·5 min read

It's going to be a special time this Father's Day weekend at Crystal Cave Canada in South River.

The site of the Crystal Cave Mineral Exhibit and Crystal Shoppe, now in its fifth year of operation, is holding its first ever Faerie Fest Saturday and Sunday.

Braelyn Rose, one of the owners of the retail shop, has built a Faerie Village complete with faerie playhouses, a faerie photo booth and giant faerie wings people can stand in front of and have their picture taken.

Rose, who will be dressed as a faerie, will have props at the photo booth for adults and children to wear when having their pictures taken but she's encouraging the public to come dressed as a faerie or their favourite mythological creature like a goblin or mermaid.

There is no charge for any of the pictures plus there will be a sleigh on the grounds people can sit in and have their picture taken.

This is the first time Crystal Cave Canada is holding the Faerie Fest and Rose's goal is to make it a regular event.

Rose has spent numerous hours putting the displays together and she will have some prizes for people who make an effort to come dressed in a faerie-themed costume.

There is no admission fee to the grounds. Participation in some events has a charge.

These include faerie doors that people can paint and apply sparkles to and make amulets.

The faerie door painting costs $10 a door and the amulet craft making carries a $5 charge.

“It's going to be a lot of fun,” said Rose, who carried out a similar event but with a Halloween theme last October and was greeted by a large crowd.

“I've been thinking about doing this for a long time.”

Beyond the Faerie Village there will be quite a few artisans on site including one who sells elderberry syrup and another who does henna art, which is a form of temporary body art.

However, if you're looking for a permanent tattoo, then Paul “Ollie” Oliver is the person to see.

Oliver is a regular artisan at Crystal Caves Canada and during the Faerie Fest he will be applying tattoo flashes which are pre-drawn designs as opposed to his usual custom work.

“It's going to be first come, first served,” Oliver said.

“We'll be asking people to put their name on a list with their phone number and we'll text them when spots become available.”

The tattoo cost ranges from $150 to $200.

For the younger set there's Zak Shillolo who owns and operates Zim Skateboards.

The 23-year-old has been skateboarding since he was three and started Zim Skateboards when he turned 16.

The business first started with Shillolo doing graffiti work on helmets and skateboards and then grew into the young entrepreneur building custom skateboards from scratch with artwork.

Shillolo says not counting the artwork, it can take anywhere from three to seven days to make a skateboard.

He installs the wheels, bearings and trucks which he buys separately.

Shillolo is an avid user of the new skateboard park in South River and also provides skateboard lessons.

He says skateboarding is “very stylistic.”

“Yes there's the sport side of it but there's also a cultural aspect where style matters,” he said.

“So it doesn't matter if you can do the best tricks in the world. If you make it look ugly it's still ugly.”

Cottage owners or people looking to decorate a part of their home in a rustic style may be interested in Craig Anderson's artisan shop.

After spending 25 years outside Canada, Anderson returned two winters ago and is fully engaged in his craft of functional art.

“It started about 15 years ago while living in Thailand,” he told the Nugget.

“I would collect old pieces of wood from the beach like wood off fishing boats. This was out of necessity to save money and decorate our beach house.”

Anderson says shortly after this he turned his skill of repurposing discarded wood into a combination hobby business and sold his finished pieces to the public.

Nowadays Anderson reclaims wood from old barns and fences then shapes, sands and paints them before selling the finished product.

His finished pieces can be furniture, frames, shelves, mirrors, paper towel holders or candle holders.

In the future Anderson hopes to grow the business to the point where he can provide demonstrations and teach people how to turn old wood into art.

Because the Faerie Fest is an all day affair on both Saturday and Sunday, at some point visitors may become hungry.

That's when they can order a meal from Aimie Sousa from her Crystal Moon Cafe food truck.

A chef with 20 years experience, Sousa has created faerie themed desserts for the Faerie Fest which include brightly coloured cupcakes with rainbow icing and sprinkles on the top “to make it more exciting.”

Sousa will also have faerie-themed drinks.

But she will also have her regular food and drink menu available which include healthy food options like wraps, smoothies and salads.

In addition, Sousa specializes in deep-fried foods like deep-fried sweet potatoes and deep-fried zucchini she makes herself.

More recently, Sousa has also become experienced as a vegan chef and says the public may want to give those meals at the food truck a try.

This is Sousa's second season at Crystal Caves Canada after moving her family from Barrie to the area.

In addition to all the artisans on the grounds and the Faerie Village, the Crystal Cave Mineral Exhibit and Crystal Shoppe will also be open to the public.

Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Bay Nugget

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