(Crystal A. Proxmire, Sept. 9, 2017)
Berkley, MI – Through the crowds of green-clad visitors to Downtown Berkley, weaved the little girls of the Sterling Civic Theatre dressed like glittery fairies, and the kilted men of the Shrine Highlanders playing their bagpipes and drums. The smell of Chicken Shack and Grill Witch Tot Shop filled the air along with the sound of traditional Irish music coming from stages at either end of the Oakland County Irish Festival on Saturday.
Booths along the middle of 12 Mile had a variety of vendors, including husband and wife team of Mark it with a B. Brandy and Quinn Roels moved to Berkley from Virgina just a few months ago, and they make wooden art of various kinds.
“He cuts up all the wood and I do the design,” Brandy said. “He works all day and comes home and cuts up wood for me. Someday we’ll have our own store.” Items like their Michigan-shaped cutting boards, clocks, necklaces, and trinket boxes can be found online, at fairs, and at the Yellow Door Market.
Karen Fae Silver had a booth with creations of her own – mostly dolls of princesses and fairies. She’s been creating characters for 30 years and says most of her inspiration comes from Irish Folklore and nature. “When translated my name mean ‘Pure Silver Fairy,” she said. “I guess it was kind of fate that I would end up doing this.”
At a nearby craft booth, youngsters made fairy doors out of popsickle sticks and further down they played soccer, danced in bubbles, or had their hair painted (temporarily) green. Grown ups enjoyed local pubs like Patrick J’s and O’maras, while other businesses catered to the Irish theme. And of course a man costumed as St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, was on hand to show off the snakes he had conquered with his staff.