Attendees take notice at Fairy House Festival

Fairy House 23. Photo by Paula Benson

GRAFTON, Vt. – Crisp temperatures and intermittently sunny skies created an ideal environment to get outside and “celebrate the magic of nature and imagination” at the annual Fairy House Festival in Grafton, Vt. on Sept. 25 and 26, 2022.

Sponsored by the Nature Museum, this was the festival’s fourteenth year. An annual fundraiser that attracts visitors from all over Vermont and across the Northeast, the festival’s fame has grown through social media.

There were many activities for kids including an arts and crafts tent and face painting booths. Excited children of all ages ran through a steady stream of bubbles that poured out of a second story window in the Nature Museum, trying to capture them in their hands.

The festival’s Fairy Queen, Laurie Danforth, talked about the origin and significance of the event, and the tradition of building fairy houses, saying, “It’s kind of a sneaky way to get people to notice the small stuff in nature. Everyone hikes and expects to see big things, like a bear or something. But this sort of tricks us into stopping, taking a moment, and looking at the smaller details of our environment.”

The Nature Museum’s philosophy is that when you build a fairy house using natural materials, you are “opening a portal to the incredible world around us through deep observation of nature’s gifts.” The hand-crafted fairy houses on display were whimsical dwellings, mini art installations created from elements like bark, twigs, berries, stones, mushrooms, and feathers.

The Fairy House Trail curved through the meadow and into the woods edge above Townshend Road. Signs directed attendees to walk the trail and enjoy both the small, intricate houses, as well as the natural splendor.

Pictured left to right, Vanessa Stern, Fairy Queen Laurie Danforth, Trey Wentworth. Photo by Paula Benson

All proceeds from the sold-out festival will go toward supporting the community through “natural science programs in schools and libraries, wilderness days for tweens, wild foods workshops, summer camps for kids, mushroom talks, birding walks, and so much more.”



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