Faerie Festival Roundup 2018

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Dust off your wings!  Faerie Festival season is here! 

First, here’s a little bit about faerie festivals.  Then the roundup of festivals I’ve been to, or want to go to, or want to go back to.
But first – Questions.
Just what is a faerie festival?
A bit of a hybrid festival, faerie fests are a little like a music fest, only more family friendly.  A little bit renaissance fair, only with faeries, and in any time period.  A bit steampunk and rainbow tribe.  Only with, faeries.  Expect music, dancing, activities, street performers, craft vendors and lots of creative expression.  Expect – you guessed it – faeries!
Are costumes required?
Nope!  Although, many folks do dress up in costumes though.  And you’ll have more fun!  All kinds of costumes are welcome- ren fair, pirate, steampunk.  Faerie costumes are very imaginative, have fun with it!
Is there food?
All the festivals have food, but some have more selection than others.  Check the website for each fest.  Bring water.
What about shopping?  Is there cool faerie stuff for sale?
Absolutely!  Bring cash!  Sometimes swipe devices don’t work so well in the woods.
Do people spend the weekend or the night?
Yes!  Most festivals have camping or bunk houses of some sort.  Recommended –  bring twinkly faerie lights and such to deck out your tent.  The camp ground and the after hours parties are where much of the fun happens.  Plus you make friends and get to hear impromptu music jams.  And many festivals have the best after hours dance parties ever.
Are pets welcome?
Mebbe. Again, check the websites of each fest.
Tickets?
If you can purchase ahead of time, do it.  Camping may fill up.
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Here’s the Round-up

(Photographs are my own but not necessarily from each festival they are tucked under)

Friday May 4 – Sunday May 6
York County, PA (Near Baltimore)
A lovely long-standing faerie celebration – 27 years!   The last year at this sweet location as the festival has grown so!
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Friday June 8 – Sunday June 10
Darlington, MD
A friendly and easy meeting of the faerie community with camping or rooms to let.  Don’t miss the Friday night drum and fire jam.
verdant faerie Blogs:
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Thursday June 21 – Sunday June 24
Twisp, WA
This is a meeting of faerie minds and consciousness.  Where you can go immerse and experience true faerie faith.  Seeds of healing…
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Friday June 29 – Sunday July 1
Ouagaquaga, NY
Remote, wild, magic.  This festival is really out there in the woods with tremendous community, spirit, and magic.  A faerie queen on horseback and trolls thrill.  Do camp out…  It’s transcendent.
verdant faerie Blog:
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July 14  – July 17
Western Newfoundland, Canada
Costumes and ugly sticks will be available.
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Saturday August 4 & Sunday August 5
South Elgin, IL
This little sweetheart of a fair is getting better (and sweeter) every year.
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Friday August 24 – Sunday August 26
North Plains, OR (Near Portland)
Glamorous, magical, sizable!  Music and a fantastic dance “floor.”  Camping is extensive the food trucks are amazing!
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Friday September 1 – Sunday September 3
Stuart, VA
More east coast faerie fun because we cannot get enough.
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Friday November 9 – Sunday November 11
Delta Baltimore Hunt Valley
Indoors – Get your Faerie fix in the cold months!  Workshops and fantastic music and vendors.
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A Faerie Poem

The following poem is by east coast photographer,  and faerie soul Cathleen Newberg.  I met Cathleen at Maryland Faerie Festival and she kindly responded to a verdant faerie newsletter with this inspired enchanted poem.  Enjoy!  Thanks, Cathleen for letting me share here!
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I dreamed a dream
of pretty things
Of starlit nights
and Fairy Wings
Of dancing lightly
with feet bared
As if Gravity
no longer cared
My spirit soaring
no longer bound
Celestial  murmurings
such sweet sounds
Expanding, expanding
dreaming the dream
of starlit nights
and fairy wings
~ Cathleen Newberg

Know of any of faerie festivals not mentioned here?

Maybe I’ll glimpse you fluttering by…

 

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Happy Imbolc- First Blush of Spring Awakening

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Welcome to the Faerie Festival of Imbolc!

Feb 1st.

A time of awakening, yet not quite yet awake, my sleepy faerie friends.  A stirring from the deepest slumbers of winter.  Emerging from the time of the north and the element of earth.  Swap the rich balm of Oakmoss, Patchouli, and dank thawing earth, with hints of blossoms and fruit saturated in thickly winter-aged, spring-honeyed nectar.   Brash, then vanishing.  Urging us forth.  Wintry snow/rain cleansing for the early snow buds and the time of the east.  The element of air wherein sylphs grace the ethers with softly muted florescence.

Awaken!  Awaken!  Awaken!

As a child I would anticipate the spring by imagining the fair folk prepping their paints deep under the roots of sleeping oak trees.  Cruelly crushing berries, mosses, and barks. Coaxing  iridescence from clouds and shadows.  All for the Spring Faerie Queen’s vast cache of aromas and pigments created with express purpose to gloss on delicate blossoms with wee paintbrushes of spider threads.  I would anticipate with glee the those first colors and scents of thaw, green, and tender blossoms.

In fact, I still do this.

Do you have a favorite spring ritual or scent?

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verdant faerie’s botanical perfume, Duskblossom, my choice for Imbolc

Maryland Faerie Festival 2015

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Last weekend I went on a faerie hunt.   Joyfully attending the 11th annual Maryland Faerie Festival in Darlington, Maryland at Camp Ramblewood with some dear friends; Deb and her little daughter Lulu (The Dad part of the team, David, had to work work work.).  It was my first faerie festival!  And Deb and Lulu’s first camping experience (we stayed the night and camped right on the grounds).

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Faerie Deb setting up her first camp

A little about the Festival, this from the website:

“The MD Faerie Festival is dedicated to providing atmosphere and entertainment inspired and informed by Faerie literature, folklore, myth, and of course the Faeries themselves. (Yes! We believe!) Through these things we hope to reinforce the values of love, cooperation, peace, and respect for all beings.”

“Maryland Faeries promote the stewardship of nature, outdoor education, and sponsor faerie artists, merchants and entertainment.  As a 501c-3 nonprofit organization, the Maryland Faerie Festival provides educational and outreach opportunities for groups whose mission also encourages love, cooperation, peace, harmony and respect for all beings.”

Camp Ramblewood, where the Fest takes place, is tucked in the scenic hills of rural Maryland among the woods and farms there.

Despite the wicked heat we had an amazing beautiful time.  Music and a Faerie Fashion Show, a wishing tree, a build a faerie house area and a May Pole, and many other family friendly activities abounded.  Art, dance, theatre, magic, and faeries were everywhere.  Unfortunately we could not make it  to all and moved at a very heat appropriate pace (slow).  I’ll just touch on a few of the things we experienced.

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So the first thing was getting our faerie glam going.  Yes, we flitted  in on our gossamer wings all glittered up, but we were tempted to glam up even more with help from the exquisite creations of the many artist/vendors- masks, wings,  hats, horns, hairs, umbrellas…  and

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Elven Ear sale Elf at The Elven Caravan

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 Mythical Masks by Miscellaneous

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The Hornie Lady! (horns and also a sci-fi publisher)

The costume selection is so great, one could completely outfit oneself right there at the festival with help from the vendors.  Lots of faerie glamour to be found!

Incidentally – The word Glamour comes from folklore referring to the way in which faeries would disguise themselves from Mortal eyes.  Or perhaps the faeries would glamorize some old dried leaves and sticks to appear as a sumptuous feast.  Interesting, eh?

The Festival warms the heart.  The many artists, entertainers, dancers (belly dancers!), writers, costumers and free thinking sorts wending their way through the world on their own terms – truly an inspiration.

One such magical creature is Mark P Donnelly, Gentleman & Scholar.  Mark was there with his “hobby shop” Canes Enable.

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Mr. Donnelly’s scholarly knowledge of history and combat choreography is prolifically expressed in print and film.  Then he has this amazing umbrella and cane shop with antique and restored umbrellas and canes.  Less like a hobby shop, and more like a gentle museum of times gone by.  I regret my video of him demonstrating a relumbrator (oh, jeez, I think I botched the spelling of that name) did not come out.  It’s an umbrella where you push a wee button and it does this crazy dynamic opening thing.  Very Steampunk.

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Mark P Donnelly showing an itsy bitsy umbrella for a grown woman from the mid/late 1800’s used essentially as a visor, since the user would already sport a huge hat during that period.

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posing with the umbrellas

Additionally, I’m looking forward to burying my nose in author Ben Anderson’s fantasy novel The McGunnegal Chronicles.  A book developed from bedtime stories he told to his children.  Awwww.

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Author Ben Anderson

I also enjoyed several of the many great live music acts!

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New York based Frenchy and the Punk – stomping and shaking and spinning dancing at the Saturday night Faerie Ball.  Check out their videos.

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Tower Green – Folksy medieval renaissance music with amplification.  Loved the hurdy gurdy!

We also enjoyed Wendy Rule – Notable and inspiring songs, with one about Little Red Riding Hood who decides she’d rather run off with the wolf, instead of run away from it!  Her site reveals she also leads magical online inspiring and empowering classes.  Those sound amazing.

The entire festival was alive with Goblins, Mermaids and Faeries of all sorts. Here is a little photo gallery.  I apologize deeply I don’t have names, if you have a name for a pic – let me know and I’ll add it!

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Kind hearted and fun Jasif Jabobski (with Lulu)  –  Snake Swords Performer

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Rawbin Heintz Anderson

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James McGrath – Goblin

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Faerie art by ToadstoolsNTreestump

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Faerie art by ToadstoolsNTreestump

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and our Lulu…

Experiencing the festival with Lulu (age 6) really brought home the magic.  Seeing it all through her eyes…  What a wonderland for her.  She made a new friend, Sarah, they built faerie houses, listened to story tellers, and stayed up far past their bedtimes belly dancing at the Faerie Ball.

Here’s the thing.  When you are hunting faeries, you are really hunting yourself.  That magical part of you connected to spirit and earth through play.

An activity at the Festival encouraged contemplation of what sort of Faerie you are by which element you connect with.  Are you a water mermaid, dreamy and emotional?  An airy fairy with stories and imagination galore?  A fire sprite with passion and movement, or a grounded earth fey?

“What sort of faerie am I, auntie Doreen?”  Lulu’s face, all wide-open-book-to-be-read.

I hesitate, wanting her to claim her own faerie without my influence.  We look into each other eyes, and souls.  Anything is possible.  Hmmm, yes…  What sort of faeries ARE we?  There is magic.

And then later, the next day “What sort of faerie am I now?”  More magic.  And again, still later she asks, from the car at the airport, as we bid adieu.

Lulu, diving deep into her individual mythos and creating herself by play in this phantasmagorical world.  Ah Lulu, I’m back in Chicago now and you are in Maryland, in your faerie garden, what sort of faerie are you now?  What sort of faerie will you become?

I am filled with gratitude to all who dream and play.  To those who made the the Faerie Festival a reality.  My dear friends, Deb, David, and Lulu forever infinite thank youse. And of course a million gratitudes to all the festival goers – and especially the folks of the Maryland Faerie Festival.

Lovely faerie play houses…

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So that’s all for now, my fey friends.  I leave you with a lace rainbow…

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a wishing tree…

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and some dreamy advice…

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And now it’s your turn to fess up, wild ones!  Who wants to run away with the faeries with me?  Or who went and is going back?