Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival, 2018
On Bowe Field in Adams, MA
By: Astrid Hiemer - Jun 19, 2018
The Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival organization presented last Saturday, on June 16, the third annual Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival, just a stone throw below Mount Greylock, where faeries and elves reside the rest of the year. They ventured off the mountain and like minded fairies and elves, young and old from near and far, joined all festivities beginning in early morning and lasting late into the evening. Approximately 1500 visitors came through the magnificent gates into faerie-land, many in costumes.
Activities were set up in tents and encouraged visitors: make your own colorful faerie wings and choose from the selection of parts to be added to the basic structure. It was a very busy station. In the course of the afternoon, we met many little faeries with newly minted wings. Also, one could take a bent pipe cleaner with an attached metal ring and add a number of beads for decoration. A supply of wizard water was ready to blow bubbles large and small while piercing the air.
Another group of young children, helped by their parents, learned how to make gooey ‘slime,’ the nation's current preoccupation with a fun and also stress reducing (or increasing) activity. It is a gum like substance, prepared in many colors or with glitter that can be pulled apart, formed back into a ball, or one can ‘pop it’ by spreading it out flat with knuckle strength. The slime mass fits into a small jar to take home. Surely there are many more ways to play with slime that escapes my attention.
The Faerie Village was set up in a shady and woodsy area, where a photo-bridge at the entrance invited to document mostly little and colorfully dressed children via smart phone. Then Mother Nature greeted every visitor who entered the Faerie Village. Again, there were things to create with goodies collected in the forests. Turrenium, a wood-elf, and his gnomes had collected what the forests offer, so that children could create little forest scenes on the ground. There was a mechanical bee flying about; we only saw her at rest. Then, a large area was reserved for the marionette-master, Dion of Robbins – Zust Marionettes, who was acting out fairy tales. Young faeries sat in rapt attention.
A tent was reserved for the Faerie Queen, Deidre, which was lovingly and with great imagination prepared a day earlier, so that the queen could hold court. She actually shared her tent with a meditation group. Well, even an age-old queen must keep current and try to remain youthful and serene by observing daily a ‘mindful state.’
There were stations, where one could choose a spray-on tattoo or in another location most intricate henna tattoos were offered. Vendors presented magical wands, made with precious stones; there were beautifully crafted hair decorations; one could purchase a real little gnome or ‘Gartenzwerg’ for the home and garden. Did I actually spot a ‘Super Woman’ in a tent? The couple was selling expensive drum boxes, hand made. Nearly 40 vendors offered their specialties relating to the Faerie Fest; and, yes, food and ice cream. I did want to have a tarot reading, for fun of course, but had no patience to wait my turn.
In the main large location, a permanent open structure on the fair ground, changing entertainment was offered all day long. It also gave shade to a hundred or so visitors and tables were set up for food consumption. The 3 Pints Shy Celtic Band was playing when I arrived and the stage was filled with young and old dancers. A happy sight! Later, when I came by again, the magician, Doug Eash, was keeping his audience happily astonished and wondering about his craft.
Misty Posey Celtic Singer was flying in for the day to perform. Very unfortunately though, she was not permitted to board her flight in Texas, where she had recently moved. Her driver’s license had expired on her birthday and her temporary license, the paper license that everyone receives before the permanent license arrives in the mail later, was not a legal enough document. Apparently it is legal to drive with a temporary license yet will not be accepted as a flight document. Here we have another example that the current administration has tightened many rules and regulations all over the American landscape. – What a loss for the Faerie Fest! And what a pity for Misty!
As I was roaming the grounds, greeting a number of our friends who were participating or volunteering for many jobs of the day, the amazing white lion Lila, as I learned later, was approaching me. Christina Fortier, the 14 year-old creator of the costume, was inside wearing a cooling belt, luckily! It was a beautiful, quite warm and sunny day.
Christina is an 8th grade student at Hoosac Valley High School in Cheshire, who loves to sew, create animal costumes, and has already amassed a number of them with interchanging parts, as she told me. She finances her passion by herself and had actually already received a grant for her work. Christina recently won at MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) the Teen Invitational Competition. She is such a gifted young woman, interested in robotics and animatronics. I’d like to meet her again! Elaine Daniels, her grandmother, accompanied Christina during the day.
Meeting Lila, the white lion, was definitely one of the unexpected highlights of the Fearie Festival. Two troubadors were wandering about and singing out loud. Adults who were fantastically dressed as fearies, elfs, gnomes or wizards also contributed beautifully to the spirit of the festivities. However, most of all, the many young, little and very little faeries made my day.
Now, we are looking forward to another year in magical spirits.