We first went to the Fairie Festival in 2004. I found out about it late, and we just jaunted up for a few hours on a Sunday. So this was our 8th year trekking up to Glen Rock, and–as in the past few years–staying for two days. Our entourage is different each time. For the first time since my first trip, Chris and her girls couldn’t make it (kid in a cast). And for the first time, our neighbor Lisa and her daughter joined us. They came over with the Donalds so that we could get our fairy make-up on. It was forecast to be hot and humid, so I opted to go without, but I painted some swirls on the girls.
Bev asked if I wanted to lead on the way out. Will we never learn? She has a bad sense of direction. I have a very bad sense of direction. Together, we’d get lost in our own houses. She called me, about 5 min. in…”You’re not taking 26?” (she’s very polite. She didn’t say “Where on EARTH are you going?”) I realized I’d read the Mapquest directions (it’s true. I cannot remember how to get there from year to year. And yet I was in the lead!) wrong, so I told her to just pass me and lead us on. It went off without a hitch after that. “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Buffy” Musical episode sing-along in the car. We parked, covered ourselves with sunscreen and glitter and headed in.
We had enjoyed volunteering to earn our admission fee back last year, so Julianna and I signed up again. But we’d missed the window for the craft tents. I got assigned the Tot Lot (quiet spot for nursing mothers and wee ones), and Julianna decided to just hang out with Molly, since she was only going to be with us one day. We started with the opening ceremony, as usual, where the Greenman talked some kids through…watering the Maypole or something? I was busy with the “I’ll be here at this time”s so the kids could find me if they wanted to.
It was a low-key sort of fest this time. Hot, but not the hottest. The music was better than last year. Fewer vendors, both of food and of pretty things. The crowd on Friday was pretty light, but that’s why we go on Friday. We met Stacey and Annika there, and stayed at their house that night.
None of us even wore wings this year. I started to grab an old pair at the last minute, but couldn’t make them lay right. Wings, when you’re not a real fairy, are kind of a hassle. But I felt a bit off without them once I got there.
My stint in the Tot Lot was very uneventful, it was late-ish in the day, and no one came by. I think the day’s highlight was when Otter, mud-covered leader of the River Tribe tried to give Lisa, who was wearing very tidy Normal Person clothes, a hug. We had a bit of a Braddock Heights gathering once we found Lara with Wolfgang and August and another neighbor, Wendy, with her two girls.
We drove 20 in to Hanover to stay with Stacey for the night. She has 3 French Bulldogs. They look like Stitch from Lilo and Stitch or, if you’re a Thomas Covenant fan, those black puppy things that were all teeth and dense energy. Stacey knows the owner-of-exuberant-dogs trick of saying “Wow! He really likes you!” so that you’re flattered by being covered in dog spit and hair instead of annoyed. Very clever, Stace, but I’m on to you.
Lily decided she couldn’t sleep on the top bunk, so I said I would. Tip to 44 year olds of non-pixie-ish size: the top bunk is not for you. It was about 2 feet from the ceiling and full of stuffed animals, and as soon as I got up there, I thought “I sure hope I don’t have to pee in the middle of the night…I sure have to pee.” I’d climb back up, doze off, awaken, and think, “I sure hope I don’t need to pee again…wow, I need to pee.” Just like camping, but with a mountainous ascent each time!
So I was tired the next day. We had a nice visit, though, and Stacey found a willing Disney-chat ear in Ben. The kids are threatening to swipe a credit card and go with her next time. I bid them good luck getting much farther than Georgia on that thing.
This time, Julianna and I asked for a volunteer job we could do first thing, so that by the time Bev and her girls got there, we’d be nearly done. We got to be “Yellow Paiges” and stand at the front gate handing out programs. It was excellent fun, as we got to see all the costumes as they came in, I got my favorite level of social interaction (“Hey, how ya doin’? bye!”), AND I got to work on my carnival barker skills.
“Kubiando! If you become lost or confused during your day, look for the Yellow Paiges. The Yellow Paiges are full of information! If there’s something you don’t know, Yellow Paiges are the way to go!” And I had some other rhymes, but they’ve already left me. it’s a fleeting skill.
We ended up serving more than our time, as communication and timely response don’t see highly valued in the Fairie-American community. But it was fun. Ben came up to visit us and go read the protesters’ signs. He was so happy they were there, but disappointed that the signs this year were of the boring “Wiccans are bad” variety (for the record, not a Wiccan festival, although I’m sure there are plenty in attendance). Julianna was handed a flyer for a “clothing optional” fairy festival “Where you can wear your wings and nothing else” was the tagline. There’s a fairy ball (snort. I bet there is. And I bet it hangs lower than you’d hope) and “spontaneous drum circles.” Also, a firehoop dancer, whom I imagine is a devout body-waxer. And just let me state for the record: clothing is never “optional.” Either you should or should not be wearing it. Also, do not hand my 15 year old an invitation to a nudist ball, you creepy old dude. sometimes Mama Fairies get judgey and indignant.
Bev showed up with Brooke, Blair,and a friend, so we joined them when we finally got sprung from service.
And so we headed home, tired and happy. it was Cinco de Mayo, so we couldn’t eat at our usual Mexican place on the way home, but it was just as well. I’d have likely gone face-down in my food. As usual, we vowed to try to have a booth next year. This time, we’ve added the vow to bring the goats, with little goat wings and strap on horns…