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Posted: April 21, 2010 12:30 a.m.

Fairy House Festival returns to Chimney Park May 1

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Chimney Park behind the Newton County Library is being turned into a magical fairyland for the second annual "Fairy Houses at Chimney Park" from 2 p.m. 5 p.m. on May 1. Last year’s debut event, sponsored by the nonprofit Friends of Newton Parks, drew some 1,500 attendees of all ages — many in winged costumes — to Chimney Park, a protected urban woodland right in Covington where plans are being made to create an outdoor park experience for people of all ages and abilities.

The theme of Fairy Houses at Chimney is, in fact, fairy-house building by hand with all natural materials. "The imagination and creativity that go into constructing a fairy house are not limited to professional artists," said event chair Kathie Smith. "The design and building seem to bring out the inner child in all of us. Anyone can do it using our guidelines." Families are encouraged to bring their own natural materials to the park that day to help build a fairy house village.

Many of the fairy houses on display will have been created by students in local public schools. School media specialists and art teachers have been drafted into the fairy house planning. Fairy houses were made for each elementary, middle school and high school in the public school system, and each is receiving a fairy-themed book for its library.

Smith and Fairy House co-chair Linda Shore along with a dedicated committee of volunteers and FONP board members have scheduled a broad range of activities sure to delight "kids" of all ages. There will be storytelling at a giant throne built specially for the occasion, crafts for boys and girls alike, a scavenger hunt, music and a maypole dance, refreshments and a raffle for unique gift baskets.

This year’s fairy festival has been expanded to include a silent auction of local artists’ works donated for the occasion. The artists’ have agreed to donate half the proceeds from the sale of their work to Chimney Park, according to Smith. "Outdoor art will be a special element in the design of Chimney Park," said Smith, "and by promoting the work of local artists, we hope to raise the awareness of the many accomplished and innovative artists working right in our midst. We are very excited about the caliber of work being donated for the silent auction." The art submissions are now on display in the meeting room of the library, and bid sheets will be located in the park on the day of the festival.

Children and adults are encouraged to dress in costume for the day, said Shore. "It’s magical to see little ones — and big ones! — turned out in attire that evokes a special time and place," she added. "In fact, at one of our craft tables, we will be helping children create their own fairy wings."

For fairy house building guidelines, go to www.fairyhouses.com.

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