Fairy House Festival changes how visitors see the small things in nature

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Stacy Garciadealba and Nature Museum President Laurie Danforth greet guests at the 10th annual Fairy House Festival. Photo by Sharon Huntley.

GRAFTON, Vt. – The 10th annual Fairy House Festival at the Nature Museum in Grafton enjoyed clear skies and record attendance during the weekend of Sept. 29 and 30. The museum’s biggest fundraiser of the year, this magical event welcomed 1,229 visitors and showcased the small woodland creations of 58 exhibitors.

In addition to walking the woodland path and “oohing” and “ahhing” at the gorgeous and delicate fairy dwellings made with natural elements by exhibitors, visitors also enjoyed face painting, bubble making, hula hooping, and other activities, as well as delicious food and refreshments. There was also an area with natural building materials that invited guests to create their own lodgings for the wee folk.

The Nature Museum’s Board President Laurie Danforth, clothed in her full Fairy Queen regalia, along with her assistant fairy Stacy Garciadealba, greeted visitors and handed out festival maps as well as a sprinkling of fairy dust on all visitors, helping to start out visitors with a sense of magic.

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A fairy house at the festival. Photo by Sharon Huntley.

According to Danforth, this is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the museum and that all the money supports their environmental education and natural history programming. “We want everyone to fall in love with the natural world – that’s the bottom line for us.”

In their 10 years, “the Fairy Festival started out tiny and every year they have tried to make it better, more organized, more family friendly, and more accessible,” said Danforth. Their ultimate goal for the Fairy Festival is to make the trail completely handicapped accessible in the future.

According to Danforth, the Fairy Festival resonates with visitors long after they have walked through the trail and seen all the fairy dwellings. “People come, they see the fairy houses and they are forever changed in the way they look at the small things in nature. Once you start connecting with those small things, it’s everywhere and it does feel like magic.”

The Nature Museum is located at 186 Townshend Rd. in Grafton and is open year-round on Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.nature-museum.org.

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