Magic, music fills air at Berkshire Mountain Faerie Festival in Adams
Photo Gallery | Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival
ADAMS — A goodly queen ruled over an enchanted Bowe Field on Saturday, her citrine crystal-covered wizard apprentice conducting wing-donning ambassadors to her court.
Celtic music filled the air, costumed participants browsed the offerings of dozens of merchants and children built dwellings out of brush while adults carefully crafted a world of fantasy in which they could play.
Clearly, the organizers of the Berkshire Mountain Faerie Festival did not go halfway. A "people-powered" float drew paddlers for photo opportunities and people would later crowd around a dragon-headed pit for a bonfire in the evening.
"Everything has come together," said her majesty Queen Deirdre of the Northern Realm, otherwise known as Deirdre Flynn-Sullivan, recounting the days activities.
Participants donned and decorated wings and caps, paraded around a solstice statue, made miniature faerie doors and a faerie village, played music and danced, told stories and read from fantasy books, acted out puppet shows and much more.
"This festival invited buskers — you didn't have to be a paid act to play your music here," Flynn-Sullivan said. "You were allowed in free and you could put your hat out and play, do magic tricks, or anything else that might come to mind. I think that really brings a community spirit."
Sponsored by Adams Arts Commission and organized by a handful of town artists over the past six months, the festival drew as many as 2,000 people and went on all day — as did the entertainment and food.
One of the festival's most ubiquitous presences, Grulaach, the wizard, also known as Richard Tavelli, claimed to be the "keeper of time and space" and donned a bejeweled outfit and cape, an eye-mask and carried a crystal staff. The character, Tavelli said, lived under Mount Greylock, took power from the Hoosic River and was rumored to have participated in the building of the Egyptian pyramids.
For all the fun, Tavelli also said he and his fellow artists mean serious business for Adams.
"The Town Administrator [Tony Mazzucco] appointed us to do a couple art projects to help promote economic development," Tavelli said. "There's a whole array of things we want to do. We want to help re-brand the town to get it focused on the creative economy."
He added, "There are artists here making contributions. There's six couples who have moved into town, bought property and invested about $4.5 million. Galleries and workspaces are about to be opening. This is very serious economic development for a small town."
Local people were joined by New Yorkers and Vermonters at the festival.
"There is a following for faerie festivals," Pat Fietta, a graphic designer who was one of the festival's organizers, said. "It's a real subculture. In New York there's festival that's been going on for years and draws huge numbers out of New York City."
The event was promoted in Wisdom Magazine and other magazines, in posters, billboards and bejeweled invitations and on Facebook and social media. Proceeds would go to "benefit public art and art promotion in our region," Fietta said.
She added, "We would love to bring public art along the Rail Trail. It's our hugest asset in Adams, if we embrace it and bring in this art, it could be a real enhancement."
Scanning the crowd, Fietta said, "I love the costuming. It's just a feast for the eyes."
Contact Phil Demers at 413-496-6214.
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