The Fairy Princess: Her Life and Times

Christopher Leitch and Carol Barta explore the history of the Fairy Princess, a Kansas City tradition that has delighted children since its inception in 1935.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
2:00pm @ Central Library

The Kansas City Public Library and the Kansas City Museum present the history and autobiography of the Fairy Princess, a local holiday staple that has delighted children for decades.

Museum Director Christopher Leitch will explore the history of the character while Kansas City's longest reigning Fairy Princess, KKFI radio personality Carol Barta, discusses her own experiences "on the throne" at Kline's Department Store in downtown Kansas City. 

With a tradition that began in 1935, Kline's wondrous Toyland was home to the Fairy Princess for many years. As youngsters told her their fondest holiday hopes, the Fairy Princess would not only listen, but waved her magic wand to make a surprise gift appear for each child.

In the following decades, the white-gowned, lovely Fairy Princess continued to fascinate children even as some aspects of the presentation changed. To reach more children, Kline's sent the Fairy Princess to pediatric wards in area hospitals and to some public schools. The tradition continued until 1970 when Kline's closed its doors.

The Kansas City Museum re-established the Fairy Princess at the museum in 1987 to help this unique Kansas City holiday tradition endure. Multiple generations visit her annually at the museum.