Rockton May Day Faerie Festival: magical and mythical


Rockton May Day Faerie Festival

Visitors can head to Settler's Park with family and friends on Saturday, May 4 to take part in the Rockton May Day Faerie Festival from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Over 25 vendors are going to be on site, with one-of-a-kind and useful goods.

Rachel Bixby of Alchemy Wellness, Rachel Lynch of Healing Touch Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine, Christopher and Bridgett Holden of Reverent Henna, and other supportive friends have come together to bring together a blend of traditions, time and talents.

The idea for the Faerie Festival came about from Lynch's personal experience. “I used to take my children to the Fairy Festival at Womanspace in Rockford until they stopped having the event,” Lynch said. “In the last few years, pictures have popped up in Facebook memories. I would always say I miss going to it.”

“Last fall I suggested to a couple of friends that we should have a fairy festival here in Rockton. Rachel Bixby was one of the first friends to say that she has been ready and waiting to have a fairy festival her entire life.”

Bixby drew up her ideas and Lynch added her favorite things from past festivals.

The ladies then approached Christopher and Bridgett Holden of Reverent Henna at a prior event at Inkwell Books to see if they wanted to be a vendor. They replied that they would actually like to partner on the event. They proceeded to design the logo and fliers.

Enter the labyrinth

Faerie Festival guests will be among the first to walk through the newly-constructed labyrinth in Settlers Park. They are invited to the “Walk as One at 1” at the Labyrinth Walk as part of “World Labyrinth Day” which is a global event.

The Rockton labyrinth is funded by the event organizers, not the Village of Rockton. Bixby worked on the design with the help and support of Rockton's Planning and Development Administrator Tricia Diduch and the Village of Rockton. Then Lynch, Bixby and the Holdens paid to have it professionally installed.

The inspiration for the labyrinth was the one that Womanspace has. It is used for walking meditation to help lower blood pressure, with relaxation, emotional and mental health.

A labyrinth is a complicated irregular network of passages or paths, but with a clear entrance and exit. Otherwise it is similar to a maze, which may have tricks and dead ends. Labyrinths are designed to foster contemplation and spiritual transformation.

According to the minutes of the April 4, 2024 Village meeting [PDF], Trustee Justin York "inquired if there were any religious affiliations associated with a labyrinth. Mayor Peterson said that there wasn’t and that he researched this as well. The Village Board was okay with this."

The labyrinth pattern appears in many ancient cultures throughout the world, as well as the medieval Catholic Church. The 11-circuit design found in Chartres Cathedral in France has gained new popularity in the past 30 years and is the model for the labyrinths at Womanspace and Settlers Park.


  • Wear your best costume as you chose from a full schedule of spectacular action.
  • Starting everything off sounding bowls will be played and heard, complete with fairyland meditation. Sacred Tree and Alchemy Wellness are backing this action.
  • Learn how to apply relaxation techniques with Sacred Tree and Inner Prana Yoga.
  • At noon a colorful and cheerful parade of faeries and sprites (a supernatural spirit, a mythical fairy-like creature who lives by the water, sometimes even tricksy.)
  • Big smiles are guaranteed as all costumed participants and mini pony unicorns walk through Settlers Park.
  • The German Society of Rockford will lead everyone in the unique experience of may pole dancing.
  • Astrology and tarot card readings enlighten the senses in different ways. These are both part of the magical aspect of the fairy world. Subtle nods to Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream will be discovered throughout the festival.
  • Search from clues given during a Faerie Scavenger hunt. One of the listings references Titania, who was also a character in “A Midsummer Night's Dream.”
  • Puck's Wine Bar will be inside of After the Vine.
  • Try your old fashioned game skills at Pin the Tail on the Donkey.
  • Rockton Lions Club is welcoming young ones to jump into a bouncy house.
  • Capture special moments in a unicorn pony photo backdrop.
  • Listen to live music and an interactive performance by the talented musician, David Stocker, who will also lead in an enchanting story time and a drum circle.
  • Plant a mental seed for something that your heart wants at a Wishing Tree.
  • Henna tattoos and face painting, faerie wands and crowns, jewelry and flowers, gems and crystals offer even more options to find magic in the event.
  • Use your imagination as you get crafty.
  • Enjoy sweet treats from The Mix.

When planning this first time event for Rockton, Lynch and Bixby struck a blend of two different approaches toward reaching the community.

“My approach was to have a very kid style fairy festival,” Lynch said. “Bixby wanted to fully incorporate the adults who like to dress up and to get magical.

“It has been a beautiful blending of the two. Hopefully everyone will enjoy the event,” Lynch says.

There is no charge to come out and to create a day full of memories, “It is very important to us that anyone and everyone can come to the park that day to celebrate the blossoming of spring, enjoy nature with the people that you love, and be entertained,” Lynch said.

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