Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

It’s time for the Maine Fairy House Festival

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Friday, July 27, 2012 - 11:00am
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Maine Fairy House Festival at the Maine Botanical Gardens.
Every magical detail of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens sparks the imagination of children at the Maine Fairy House Festival. This year’s sixth annual Festival is Aug. 3-5, with events starting Wednesday, Aug. 1. Courtesy of Barbara Freeman

One of the most anticipated events of the summer for many families – the Maine Fairy House Festival – is coming to Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens Aug. 3-5 from 1 to 4 p.m. each day.

Entry to the festival is included in Botanical Gardens admission. Now in its sixth year, this immensely popular event has more delights than ever in store for young fairies and gnomes, leprechauns and elves. In fact, to fit in all the fun, the festivities start on Wednesday, Aug. 1.

On Wednesday, Aug. 1, at 7 p.m., the Botanical Gardens will present a special movie night. Kids are invited to wear their favorite PJ’s and wings and enjoy “Kristen’s Fairy House” on the large screen in the Bosarge Family Education Center. Admission to this showing is $5 for members and $7 for non-members; fairy refreshments will be available. This video for children and families tells the story of a vacation adventure on a New England island and inspires youngsters to explore the natural world around them. “Rare quality viewing…a lovely and refreshing live-action movie,” wrote a Billboard magazine reviewer; “It’s a gem,” said Parenting magazine.

There will be more entertainment on Thursday, Aug. 2, at 2 p.m., when the acclaimed Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers present “The Legend of the Banana Kid” puppet show in the Education Center. Admission is $5 for members and $7 for nonmembers. Through fabulous hand-made puppets, the Bar Harbor-based puppetry troupe will offer a rollicking wild west tale that will be fun for the whole family.

The first of this year’s Fairy Craft Workshops, on Wednesday, Aug. 1, from 10 a.m. to noon, will be for adults, as well as children over age 13 who can work independently. Instructor Amanda Russell, known for her amazing fairy houses, has amassed a large supply of building materials for the workshop and is looking forward to sharing her enthusiasm, knowledge, and talent for this entertaining and unusual art form. The price, which includes all materials (participants may bring some from home, too), is $25. 

A variety of fairy workshops for children will be held from Aug. 2-5, from 10 a.m. to noon. Cindy Farnham will teach two sessions of Plant a Potted Fairy Garden, and artist-in-residence Susan Schön will present Decorate a Fairy Birdhouse and Create a Fairy House and Fairy Accessories.

Each afternoon of the Aug. 3-5 Maine Fairy House Festival itself will be packed with entertainment, fun, and activities, all free with admission. Fairy-house author Tracy Kane will be on hand each day to give reading and offer workshops. On Friday, the Shoestring Theater Parade will be back, accompanied by Maine Squeeze music; and there will be a concert by Mr. Harley. On Saturday, the Portland School of Ballet will present a performance, and Carole Cochran will lead Fairy Yoga in the Woodland Garden. Sunday will bring a “hooping” demonstration with Heidi Kendrick, a puppet show by Primrose Puppets, and the interactive practice and show “Dance with the Fairies” with Amanda Russell.

Children can also savor a cup of Fairy Tea or a glass of Gnome Punch, join in the “make & take” crafts, play Gnome Games and win prizes, chase bubbles from the Great Bubble Machine, and enjoy some of the best children’s performers around. Everyone will enjoy the imaginative display of designer fairy houses. And, of course, they can make their own fairy houses to their hearts’ content.

While no reservations are required for the Maine Fairy House Festival, they are necessary for the morning workshops, for which numbers are limited, and are requested for the movie and puppet show. For a schedule and to sign up for workshops and events, visit www.MaineGardens.org, call 633-4333, ext. 101, or stop by the Visitor Center at the Botanical Gardens, off Barters Island Road in Boothbay.