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.
If you can purchase ahead of time, do it. Camping may fill up.
Here’s the Round-up
(Photographs are my own but not necessarily from each festival they are tucked under)
Indoors – Get your Faerie fix in the cold months! Workshops and fantastic music and vendors.
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!
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
such sweet sounds
dreaming the dream
of starlit nights
and fairy wings
~ Cathleen Newberg
Know of any of faerie festivals not mentioned here?
From the edge of the dance floor at the Masquerade Ball, Missy’s ears prick up, “It’s Missy! I know that dog! She’s a dog worth petting again!” Missy’s first visit to the New York Faerie Festival, or any festival, and she’s made friends with faeries, trolls, goblins & wizards within the realm of the fae.
And what a festival! Abundant enchantment; music & dancing all day…
Magical creatures of all varieties… (Missy’s new friends)
A tree house, a free house.
A secret you and me house,
A high up in the leafy branches
Cozy as can be house.
A street house, a neat house
Be sure and wipe your feet house
Is not my kind of house at all-
Let's go live in a tree house.
Missy is particularly enchanted with the joust and horses, ‘scuse me, unicorns.
When not getting petted, Missy let me visit some of the many lovely vendors. Just a sampling…
Do you know this feeling?
When you look into the woods at night or dusk. And you can feel the mystery. The wonder of it.
What. Is. Going. On. In. There?
Magnetized towards the pulsation of the ancient virtues. Heart quickening. You know something is going on in there! Alchemistic renderings of earth and spirit, your transcendence is a gossamer thread away…
It’s on the other side of the Troll’s Bridge (no duh), the Faerie Habitat. An enchanted sphere of the Festival grounds. Dryads, Mermaids, Faeries… Charm spinning and spirit gifting…
Linger in the Habitat to connect and transcend.
But first you must get past the trolls. And, be warned. There is a troll toll. They demand, in the friendliest of ways, “shinys” (really anything that is shiny), or a joke, or you may choose to get mud tattooed.
Missy is not so sure of the trolls. Mayhap because they refer to her as a goat.
But the charm of the Trolls wins Missy over.
In the end Missy passes in to the Faerie Habitat. Her mysterious encounters there will remain mysteriously hers.
But wait, Goblins!
Gandersnitch the Goblin is a revelation. Despite the assurance that he is a reformed Goblin, poetic and wise, I’m wary. But he turns out to be a kindly inspiration.
Gandersnitch is indeed poetic and wise. I’m reading and loving his perfectly inappropriately refreshing and highly entertaining book now.
He also has a lovely card game and takes confessions.
As for me, the festival was my sublime medicine. I am sincerely grateful. Thank you.
Surrounded by the singing of the spirit of the wild self, I am mended. Thank you. I soak up kindness, wildness, and joy from the festival creatures. Thank you. The dear souls near my tent who chat with me and help me set up and dance with me at the ball. Thank you. The sparkling eyes and filthy-glittered dancing bodies. Prose and laughter spilling from mouths like honeyed nectar. And the collective feeling that life is indeed something to be lived and played with. The outward reflection that we are all of us beautiful and magical. Thank you.
It brings me back to myself. Ah yes, hello to my beautiful, magical me. So nice to glow you again.
The New York Faerie Festival is a three-day affair just completing it’s 7th year. It is out in the boonies of New York, tucked in a valley near a river. Parts of the Festival grounds are in shady woods, and parts bright sun.
Primitive (Port-O-Let) but happy camping is available on the premises. Two yummy dinners are included, with options for meat eaters and vegetarians. There is a simple breakfast hosted at the local firehouse for a small fee/donation. There are some other campgrounds and motels nearby.
There is so much going on at this festival! I barely touched on it here. Fantastic music and performances on multiple stages, outstanding vendors, jousting, tons of street characters who interact with the festival goers, some food trucks, and little spaces throughout the grounds to hang out and play or dream. The Masquerade Ball on Saturday night is not to be missed!
Wear a costume.
Bring cash, always appreciated and it was hard to get a signal to use the Square reader.
Also, read the email communications you receive from the Festival carefully, for if you camp there are specific arrival times.
Hope to see you there in 2017!
If you want more festival blogs, I have several. Here they be: