How wonderful to wake up to a beautifully sunny day for the 12th Fairy Fair, I just knew it was going to make it even better. After all this grotty weather we have been having we deserve a bit of sun for festival season don’t we?
We arrived at about 10ish and queued for a short while to get into the grounds and get parked. As always the stewards managed this really well. After a short walk from the carpark through the woods we got to the fairy gate. We were really impressed by the new layout, pirate games were set to the left of the site with cooking for trolls and there was a huge undercover seating area next to this and the Corncockle Cafe next door. The Good Elf Pub had a makeover for this year with a real bar, some pictures of famous elves up (Elf-vis, Will S-Elf, Buddy the Elf, Legolas and Galadriel from Lord of the Rings) which made us chuckle, pub games and not forgetting the famous Brays Cottage Pork Pies to enjoy with one of the locally produced ales or ciders.
Opposite this was the performance tent with various bands act and storytellers at different times. This was always packed when we went past so we didn’t stop to watch for too long. Along with the usual Pixie Post Office, and stories and puppets tents there was a new addition in the form of the Wildlife Hospital, we didn’t have time to go in here but it looked popular, this was drop in work shop and cost £3 for a 30 minute session.
There were some wonderful looking craft stalls at the fair too selling beautiful and unique items for the home and clothing and accessories to enhance one’s fairyness.
Food stalls included the Marigold Cafe vegetarian stand which a friend of mine swears does the best tarka dahl and onion bhajis, the Proper Pizza Co, The Flying Chef hotdogs, Flipping Pancakes and a smoothie stand. Sadly there was a slight lack of cake again, the veggie stand only had lemon cake on offer by 2.30 so I was a bit disappointed!
Workshops for this year included Fairy Gardens, Fairy books, Elf Sticks, Magic Wings, Fairy Jewels, Fairy Pets and Fairy Crowns, which took place in yurts behind the main part of the fair. Also, taking place in the woods was the Treasure Hunt and Elf Training Camp.
We did the Fairy Books workshop this year which Eila really enjoyed. First we were welcomed into the tent and then a story was read about the humble beginnings of the fairy book, we were then given materials in order to make our own. Within the book were pictures of flowers to colour and spaces to stick leaves and add our own pictures of flowers and trees enabling children to recognise and respect nature.
This is what I love most about the Fairy Fair: its emphasis is making nature magic for children and making it exciting and helping them to live in harmony with it.
What could be better? Not a lot, a few more toilets and a bit more cake but everything was just wonderful.
The day was full of wonderful festival moments with acts like the Stilt Fairies, the Rimsky Piano (a piano which moved around the site while being played, this made everyone stop and smile as he went past), the various bands (loved seeing children dressed as fairies dancing around to the folk bands and my two loved the band on stilts who played everything from nursery rhymes to reggae!)
The Fairy Fair really does have it all, something for every member of the family. We didn’t get time to make a secret den or a fairy house and we didn’t quite find the Fairy Queen, but we had the most amazing day. There is so much to see and do, that you can’t get bored. I was chatting to one family who told me that they come for both days and stay at a local campsite so they get to do everything. This could be a way for the Fair to expand in the future – maybe by selling weekend tickets and having camping offsite?
However in conversation with my husband with this we both think that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. The Fairy Fair is perfect as it is and if it got too big it may lose some of it’s wonderful, indie magical charm.
A truly magical day for all the family, I feel very lucky and proud to be so near to such a wonderful charity and festival.