May is finally here and with it a reminder that summer is near and everyone can relax . . . or at least not do as much homework. As the weather becomes nicer and nature is in full force, people flock to the outdoors and to festivals of all sorts. I grow extremely excited as this time of year because one of my favorite festivals, Fairie Festival, occurs in early May. Fairie Festival, in my opinion, is one of the most joyous ways to welcome the abundance that spring has to offer.
The festival, located in Glen Rock, Penn., begins Friday, May 4 and lasts through Sunday, May 6. This marks the 21-year anniversary of the annual event, which is held at the local and organic Spoutwood Farm. It is open from 12pm to 6pm on Friday and 10am to 6pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $15 for ages 13 and over and $5 for ages 12 and under. There is no cost for children ages 2 and younger. Spoutwood are always looking for volunteers and, in exchange for services, will reimburse the entrance fee after the recommended two-hour timespan is complete.
Parking is readily available at neighboring farm houses whose owners convert their yards into large parking areas. The cost is $5, but the cars are kept under a watchful eye.
Fairy Festival is run by the owners of Spoutwood, Rob and Lucy Wood, and serves as a public celebration of May Day, drawing inspiration for the festivities from many ancient cultures. Most of the year, Spoutwood Farm provides a vast variety of organically grown produce and is also used to preserve natural land and spread knowledge about the environment. However, during the first weekend in May, the natural area is transformed into a colorful landscape of fantasy décor and dressed-up patrons. There is always something to do, as the festival sports over 70 unique vendors and performers. Where else can you listen to traditional Celtic and folk music, watch a blacksmith create beautiful works right in front of you, buy herbs, and gaze at sunspots through a massive telescope?
There are other facets that set this festival apart from most outdoor events. The atmosphere is amazingly energetic. The variety of food is huge (and I mean huge, from gyros to Thai peanut noodles to bruschetta); and live music is constantly performed throughout the festival grounds. These are among the reasons that Fairie Festival has grown from a 1-day gathering of 100 friends to a 3-day spectacle attracting over 16,000 guests from all over the nation and a few from other parts of the world.
And, despite what you may have heard, there’s no need to be afraid of the moss men. They are actually very nice.