Local artists join together to host Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival in Adams

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ADAMS — If you've seen fairies at your local library, or wondered why there's a tiny, magical door on display in your bank's lobby recently, don't worry: it's not a dream. It's a way for the Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival to make itself known across this fabled land.

On Saturday, June 25, Bowe Field in Adams will host a family friendly, costume-encouraged celebration with art, activities and a lot of imagination. Expect Celtic music, fairy-inspired vendors, a story-telling tent, puppeteers, a "people-powered" float, and a big bonfire that will look like a dragon's head.

The Adams Arts Commission is behind the magic. The group wanted to find a new way to celebrate local art and get visitors to come to Adams and the Northern Berkshires; Francie Ann Riley, who serves on the commission, said she read about fairy doors — small, decorated doors that are supposed to beckon to fairies — becoming a quirky trend in Ann Arbor, Mich.

"We were all in love with the idea," she said. "We wanted to do something that was going to stand out." A door-making workshop at River Hill Pottery followed.

The Arts Commission didn't realize until they started planning the festival that an established fairy subculture exists in the U.S. Twig the fairy, who can be seen at Renaissance fairs all over the country, boasts 265,000 Facebook likes. You and your kids can go to "Fairy School" in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, for $450.

As a result, interest is growing for the Faerie Festival — more than 40 vendors will be there, one coming all the way from Georgia, Riley said. But plenty of local artists will also be showing off their skills. George LeMaitre of Adams is sculpting the dragon's head fire pit, which will become a place for stories and songs as the sun goes down. Patricia Fietta, his wife, is director of the festival as well as its graphic artist.

Riley, a professional scenery artist (she and husband Bill Riley, also a scenery artist who recently worked on the Tony Awards, bought the Simmons Furniture building in Adams), is in her element.

"For us, it's like putting on another show," she said.

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The Arts Commission is encouraging all participants to come in costume. Riley said the mood will be "light and family friendly" — no scary fairies here in the Berkshires, though the festival's website specifies that "gnomes, spirits, elves, trolls and beyond" are welcome.

Riley said the commission would like to make the Faerie Festival an annual event.

"The whole idea is that this is a fun place to live," she said. "We want people to come to the Northern Berkshires."

What: Berkshire Mountain Faerie Festival

When: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 25

Where: Bowe Field, Adams

Cost: $5; children under 12, free

Information: www.berkshiremountainsfaeriefestival.com


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