Fairy Princess honored for decades of greeting KC children at Christmas time

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The normally somber city council chambers turned more jovial Thursday thanks to the Fairy Princess and the holiday spirit that follows her.

Kansas City councilman Scott Wagner sponsored a special resolution to honor the fairy princess for her role in nearly eight decades of holiday cheer.

"We are so thrilled about this honor," said Carol Barta, who was fairy princess in 1956. "We're happy to be recognized as such a significant part of the holiday season here in Kansas City."

The legend of the fairy princess dates back to 1935 at the Kline's Department Store, 1113 Main Street, where children gathered to sit at the knee of the princess as an alternative to sit on Santa's lap.

"It's one of those lovely things where children come to you. They sit at your knee and they're not afraid. They're somewhat in awe," said Barta.

Kline's Department Store closed its doors in 1970. The  Kansas City Museum, 3218 Gladstone Boulevard, revived the princess in the mid-1980s.

The current fairy princess is Princess Holly. She grew up in Johnson County and even though she's only 22-years-old, she knows she's part of Kansas City's history.

"My mom grew up going to the fairy princess at Kline's Department Store, so she's told me about that. As soon as my sister and I could understand, we always went to the fairy princesses.," said Princess Holly.

The Kansas City Museum offers visits with the princess on Saturdays and Sundays for the next two weekends.

"I've met with the past princesses, and it's kind of nice. It's a little sisterhood of fairy princesses over the ages," Princess Holly said.