MANCHESTER — Young winged fairies buzzed around numerous long tables Saturday in the mall area of Longfellow’s Greenhouses, site of the Annual Fairy Festival.

The girls and boys made fairy sand necklaces and posed in the fairy garden photo booth. They created fairy wands, fairy masks, peat pot fairy garden houses and tissue-paper butterflies, among numerous other things. Parents and grandparents hovered nearby, holding cardboard trays filled with the youngsters’ treasures.

Evelyn Robitaille, 5, of Greene, in a pink dress with purple wings, concentrated on printing her name in capital letters on a fairy garden sign made of popsicle sticks. She was simply too busy to talk.

“She’s very much into fairies,” said her mother, Stacy Robitaille. “She loves dress-up and wears dresses all the time.” The pair had just come to Longfellow’s from dance class.

Sarah Trask, 6, of Winthrop, was making her own sign as well and enjoying everything about the fairy festival.

“I like that it has magical fairy dust,” she said, lifting up the sand-filled amulet that hung from a cord around her neck. “I sprinkle it outside, and when I leave to go to Girl Scouts, something that I wish for will be sitting on the front porch.” She was sure it would be Shopkins miniature toys.


In light aqua tulle dresses, Emmy Meija, 4, and her sister Abby, 9 months, were water fairies, said mother Erin Meija. The girls’ backs sprouted gossamerlike wings of galvanized wire, glittery fabric and hot glue. They were handmade by their mother and their grandmother Janet Berger, of Augusta.

Peter Spiegel, of Hallowell, balancing a cardboard box of fairy masks, carefully squeezed out drops of pink glitter glue for his 2-year-old daughter, Lilette, so she could add sparkle to her craft.

Her brother, Holden, 5, was with Mom at a different table.

Jane Martin, retail buyer for Longfellow’s, filled paper cups with fairy treats — miniature marshmallows, graham crackers, pretzels and chocolate chips — and placed them next to the fairy nectar. “If you dress up as a fairy, you get a fairy garden gnome or other figure when you leave,” she said.

All of the activities were free except for a class in which participants — mostly adults — could craft their own fairy gardens. The instructor, Kerri Day, has worked for Longfellow’s for a dozen or so years in the spring in design and also teaches classes.

The special fairy garden class — which commanded a $25 fee per participant — was so popular that Day had to turn people away, and had divided the lucky ones into two classes of 25 and 26 each.


“I give them the knowledge of plants,” Day said. “They end up making their own thing, and it’s so much fun to see what they do.” She readied for the class by opening packages of dyed and undyed reindeer moss, white stones and other items.

Waiting patiently to get started were Brianna Lachance, of Manchester; Victoria Pease, of West Gardiner; and her mother, Beth Pease, of Augusta.

They previously took a class in succulent terrariums and were excited about returning.

“I just like fairies and plants,” Beth Pease said. “I love them.”

Kathy Henrikson, of Bath, brought two small fairies she had created to be the stars of her fairy garden. She selected the green-dressed fairy atop a pine cone as the one she would use, deciding to save the smaller, purple-wrapped wire one for later. “I brought my own stuff from home to use,” she said, pointing to small piles of stones and other items.

Penny Hartwell, of Bowdoinham, has been teaching art classes part time for 37 years. “This here is something I can do for myself,” she said.


Next to her, Therese Acord described herself as an empty-nester and said, “I take all kinds of adult classes.”

Nancy French brought two of her granddaughters, cousins Sara Hartley, 10, and Emma Brann, 9, all of Belgrade. The girls, who sported big spangled rainbow bows in their hair, had made fairy gardens before at camp and at home with found items. They were anxious to get started on their fairy gardens as well.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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