Day fit for a fairy
Friends of Newton Parks to host Fairy House Festival

COVINGTON - The magic of fairies has been the subject of many a story since ancient times, and now, Newton County children have a chance to unleash their imaginations and get lost in the lore of these mythical creatures.

Friends of Newton Parks is hosting a Fairy House Festival from 2 to 5 p.m. May 2 at Chimney Park, a proposed recreation site behind Newton County Library.

"Fairy festivals are a much-beloved tradition in New England and in Maine where these little houses 'magically' appear on the coast or in the woodlands," event chair Kathie Smith said. "We believe this will be the first such festival to be staged in Georgia, and Chimney Park - where imagination and creativity thrive - will be the perfect setting for such a gathering. It will be a day for the young and young at heart to experience the magic of exploring the natural hideaways where fairies work their magic."

Those interested in attending are encouraged to start gathering materials to bring to the festival, where they can build their own fairy houses.

The houses are traditionally made from natural materials such as nuts, bark, berries, lichen-covered twigs, rocks and sturdy leaves.

In addition to making their own houses to take home, festival-goers will have a chance to view more than 20 houses on display in a fairy village, enjoy crafts, storytelling, music and a May Pole celebration.

Children are encouraged to dress as fairies and participate in a fairy parade.

To prepare for the event, local school children are learning all about the magic and the myth of fairies. Friends of Newton Parks has donated books about fairies and their dwelling places to all elementary and middle schools in the county, along with fairy houses to be displayed in media centers.

Local civic organizations, businesses and other groups are creating the fairy houses that will be on display at Chimney Park, and The Potting Shed, a nursery on Floyd Street, will exhibit plants, flowers and shrubs traditionally associated with fairies.

Smith first became interested in fairy houses after seeing them in the woodlands and along the coast of Maine, where she has been traveling for 30 years.

"It's a sort of magical, enchanting activity sprung from people's imaginations and creativity," she said.

Several fairy houses were displayed at a Christmas event at Chimney Park and were so popular that Friends of Newton Park members were inspired to create an event with a fairy focus.

"We're hoping to invite more people into the park and just stimulate kids' creativity and imagination," Smith said.

The event is free, but donations will be accepted in support of Chimney Park, a play land intended to allow children to learn and play in a natural setting and designed with special-needs children in mind.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.