Festival to raise awareness about Chimney Park

COVINGTON -- Chimney Park will be turned into a magical fairy land again this year for the second annual Fairy Houses at Chimney Park festival scheduled from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Last year's event celebrating the lore and magic of the mythical creatures drew 1,500 people. Organizers hope this year's event will be a similar success, not only offering a fun time for the community but a chance to raise awareness about Chimney Park, a woodland area behind Newton County Library that is the proposed site of a park for people of all ages and abilities.

Many children came last year in wings and full fairy costumes.

"It's magical to see the little ones -- and big ones -- turn out in attire that evokes a special time and place. In fact, at one of our craft tables we will be helping children create their own fairy wings," event chair Kathie Smith said.

Several fairy houses were displayed at a Christmas event at Chimney Park and were so popular that Friends of Newton Park, the nonprofit organization raising funds to create the park, was inspired to create an event with a fairy focus.

This year, a fairy house village, made of all natural materials, will be on display. Many of the houses are being made by local schoolchildren. Event organizers delivered a fairy house to each local school, along with a fairy-themed book to add to their libraries.

Families are encouraged to bring their own natural materials to the park to build houses while at the festival, or build them beforehand to display.

"Last year, some took them home because they wanted to keep them, and many left them there and they are just left to nature," Smith said.

"The imagination and creativity that go into constructing a fairy house are not limited to professional artists," she added. "The design and building seem to bring out the inner child in all of us. Anyone can do it using our guidelines."

For more information on how to build a fairy house, go to www.fairyhouses.com.

The event will also include storytelling, crafts, a scavenger hunt, music and a maypole dance. A raffle of gift baskets will be held to benefit Chimney Park.

In addition, this year's event has been expanded to include a silent auction of work donated by local artists. Half the proceeds will be donated to Chimney Park.

"Outdoor art will be a special element in the design of Chimney Park, and by promoting the work of local artists, we hope to raise awareness of the many accomplished and innovative artists working right in our midst. We are very excited about the caliber of work being donated for the silent auction," Smith said.

The artwork is currently on display in the meeting room of the Newton County Library, located at 7116 Floyd St. NE. It will remain on display there through the day of the festival and bidding will take place during the festival at Chimney Park.