Faeries alight in Adams

Day of wonder draws crowd from far and wide

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ADAMS — Emma, Lily and Hailey Stowell, three sisters from Orange (the town, not the color), are exactly the demographic for which the Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival was created.

"We're here because Emma and Hailey are obsessed with faeries," said Lily, who also admitted to being partial to faeries and other mystical creatures.

For the record, Hailey, 13, Lily, 10 and Emma, 6, were not unchaperoned. Their grandmother accompanied them to Bowe Field on Saturday morning. They were excited to visit the Storytelling Tent and some of the vendors. And just sort of take in the atmosphere.

But, clearly, according to Gail Sellers, one of the directors of the event, the Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival is meant to be a regional event.

"No, it's not aimed just at people in Adams and North Adams," said Sellers. "We want to attract people from the Berkshires and beyond."

Attendance last year, she said, was almost 2,000, and organizers were hoping for a similar number this year, from all over the East.

There were clearly folks from a wide strata of regions. Darren Reader and his two daughters, Alli and Cilla, from Troy, N.Y. were here last year "and they couldn't wait to come back," said Reader. Cilla is 12, Ally is 9. They were both dressed in fairy costumes with those little wings.

And frankly, they weren't particularly interested in standing around while dad shot the breeze with a reporter.

"We have to get unicorns!" pleaded Cilla. "We have to, Dad, now!"

Presumably, the girls were referring to a booth where there were several types of small pins, including unicorns, not the life-sized animals.

The festival was begun last year, and is the brainchild of the Adams Arts Advisory Board, a nonprofit consortium of local artists who organize events such as this, said Sellers. Proceeds from this event will go to various educational and arts institutions, she said.

The event featured local authors in the Storytellers Tent, as well as more than 45 vendors, said Sellers. There were also musical sets from a host of local performers such as the Misty Blues Band, Aimee Gelinas and Slow Pony.

At the rear of the site were the Black Willow Woods, which really are woods composed of Black Willow trees. At night, the woods were lit up, and at the center of the woods was a wishing tree. Dom Fien, 11, who was at the tree with his mom, shyly explained to a reporter that he couldn't speak his wish out loud, or it would not come true. Roger that, Dom.

In the vendors area, there was even a booth run by two individuals who mined diamonds in the deep, dark northlands and turned them into jewels. No, they were not dwarfs. They were, in fact former track coaches from Hoosac Valley High school, Ron Namislo and Greg Lucia.

"We have a stake in upstate New York," explained Lucia. "We go up there for a week and mine Herkimer diamonds. Then we come back here and make jewelry."

Herkimer diamonds are not exactly diamonds, but crystal quartz of exceptional clarity and quality. For Lucia and Namislo, it's just a fun hobby.

"They're millions of years old," said Lucia, "Making jewelry helps me relax."

Reach staff reporter Derek Gentile at 413-496-6251.

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