Faerie Fest Keeps Spreading Its Wings

Photo by Rimas Zailskas.

Don’t call it a niche thing. More than 75 vendors will fill the grounds at Highland Lake Cove Retreat Center for this month’s Faerie and Earth Festival. The event, founded by “visionary director” John Springer, has sprouted in three states with three different spellings (it’s “fairy” in Florida and “faery” in New York). But all three mani-festations of the word sound the same, Springer points out — and what the festival’s “cast of characters” brings en masse is an aes-thetically groomed spiritual diversion grounded in eco principles. The feel is Renaissance Faire meets holistic expo — trimmed with lots of fashionable wings.

Exhibitors include card-diviners, wand-makers, apitherapists (that means healing by bee — the festival’s proceeds will help benefit honeybee activism), chocolatiers, magicians, herbalists, and professional performing fairies from all over the Southeast. These include Mauryne Grey of Goose Creek, SC, who “travels from festival to festival … spreading magic, adventure, and a trail of fairy dust.”

“This is a lighthearted family/kid-friendly event,” one coordi-nator admonished early on, in an open call on Facebook and on the event’s website. “We are seeking Faeries, Mermaids, Green-men, Dryads, Pixies, Sprites, Ents [tree characters], Earth Guard-ians and Members of the Faerie and Earth Realms. Please NO Pi-rates, Ogres, or Dark Souls!”

They’ve been warned.

May 20-22 at Highland Lake Cove, 217 Rhett Drive in Flat Rock. 10am-5pm. $15/adult, $10/seniors, $5/kids 5-15. www.facebook.com/fairyandearthfestival. www.enchantedwalkabouts.com. For information about the facility, including lodging, see www.highlandlakecove.com. 407-704-2320.

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