KC’s Fairy Princess tradition finds a socially-distant way to spread joy this holiday season

Photo courtesy of Kansas City Museum

In 1935, the Fairy Princess tradition began at the Kline’s department store on Walnut Street in downtown KC. What began as a promotional tool for the store’s new department, the Fairy Princess stuck around for decades to come. When the store closed in the early 70s, the Princess disappeared with it. But soon after, the Kansas City Museum brought her back to keep the city tradition alive.

“We have grandmothers who brought their daughters who are now bringing their granddaughters to see the Fairy Princess.” Paul Gutiérrez, Director of Programs & Events at Kansas City Museum says about the tradition. “Every year, without a doubt, a grandma comes in with all of her photos of the Fairy Princess throughout the years.”

There was a gap of time between when the department store closed and when the museum began to hold their Fair Princess events. “This will be the 34th year that we have done it as a tradition,” Gutiérrez says.

In the past, children would visit the Fairy Princess to tell their holiday wishes, and she would perform a magical feat to open a chest where the children would then get to pick a crown or tiara to wear. One of the event’s biggest staples was the sugar cookie that visitors receive after they tell the magical Princess what they want for the holidays.

Throughout the years, the Princess has been in a variety of locations, but the museum first had the Fairy Princess appear in their own Corinthian Hall. Everyone was in awe as the beautiful Fairy Princess made her way down the grand staircase and into her throne. 

“The goal was to have this back in the hall, but then Covid-19 hit, so we needed to reimagine what we would do with this holiday tradition,” Gutiérrez says. “This year, we will have the event virtually just like other events in KC.”

“Honoring those memories that people have of the holiday event is so important, especially now since we don’t know what is happening out in the world. Having an event, even it’s virtual, shows honor to this tradition in an unpredictable time.”

The online event will be free from 6:00-6:30 pm on December 6th. Anyone can tune in to the Kansas City Museum’s Facebook Live event, but if you’d like to purchase an at-home activity to complete with the Fairy Princess and sugar cookie from Boulevard Bakery, you can preorder a package here for $5 each.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Museums