Published: Thursday, July 15, 2010
Staff Photo by COREY PERRINE^^From left, Tabitha Martone, Emma Chew and Sophie Chew, all 7, wait in line at the annual Fairtale Festival. Meanwhile, a trapeze act from Sara Greene of Concord, performs in the background. CQ NAMES. DANA COPY.
IF YOU GO
Fairy Tale Festival
WHERE: Greeley Park. Parking available along soccer fields, in back of the band stand, along the street and in nearby parking lots.
WHEN: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, July 17.
MORE INFORMATION: Call 589-3370.
NASHUA – Break out the fairy wings, unpack the tiaras and unsheath the swords.
At the 10th annual Fairy Tale Festival on July 17, children and their families are invited to spend the day in a real-life fairy tale.
The festival, which is part of Nashua Parks and Recreation SummerFun event series, is themed “Knights of the Round Table” this year. Children will be sent on a quest to find five out of the nine knights and learn the knights’ special abilities.
The field will be filled with well-known princesses, knights and other characters. They will know their entire story and give autographs to admiring children.
“The children can ask them anything, and they’ll know the answer,” said Denise-Marie McIntosh, head fairy and coordinator of the event. “They can ask as many questions as they want.”
The event helps to spark the curiosity of the children and encourages them to read. Every child that attends the Fairy Tale Festival will receive a free book.
Characters throughout the festival will be dressed in costumes from Mary’s Closet in Manchester.
“The costumes are just phenomenal,” said McIntosh. “They are true to the period and recognizable for the kids. They really make the whole show come alive.”
A key piece of the Fairy Tale Festival is a three-hour show that concentrates on the positive messages of effectively solving problems, overcoming obstacles and reaching goals.
The day begins at 9:40 a.m., when volunteers will teach audience members a dance number. At 10 a.m., the audience will join with performers for the routine.
“We want to start by getting everyone in the audience moving,” said McIntosh.
Following the opening dance number, King Arthur will give the quest details and Mayor Donnalee Lozeau will read to the children and explain King Arthur’s history. The show will continue with elements such as an Independent Karate demonstration, a typical castle scene put on by Winnekenni Castle, a performance by the Dancer’s Loft, movie scenes, a magic show, a performance of We are the World and a Fairy Tale parade. All of the performances go along with the story plot.
McIntosh tries to give local performers a chance to perform in front of the crowd – last year, 5,000 people attended. For many local performers, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to perform in front of such a big crowd.
The success of the event, in fact, has demanded growth. Ten years ago, the Fairy Tale Festival featured only two performers. Now, that number as grown to enough to fill the stage for a full three hours.
“Last year, one of the only complaints was that the lines at the booths were too long,” McIntosh said. “We opened up the other side of the field and made an arial map to ensure equal space between booths so it won’t be too crowded.”
To help alleviate the lines, there will be 18 more businesses represented at the event than last year for a total of 45. The businesses will be set up on the field, where they will offer various activities for kids. The city will offer Fairy Art School for kids to make swords and wings and Target will be on hand to decorate wands and crowns. There will also be snow cones, face painting, bounce houses, a caricaturist, Chick-Fil-A food samples, balloon art and more.
Best of all, everything on the field is completely free of charge.
Businesses that could not be present donate raffle items, which are given throughout the day.
The event takes place at Greeley Park from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
There is more than enough activity to keep families busy for the three hours.
Everyone is encouraged to dress up in their finest fairy tale costuming.
Children from 3-12 usually attend with their parents, but older teenagers also come or volunteer to help at the event. More than 200 people volunteer to make the show run.
Although it might be a great way to keep the kids busy for the day, they’re not the only ones who enjoy the Fairy Tale Festival.
McIntosh recounts her first festival, where she saw a group of adults dressed up in full-blown costumes.
She soon found out that they didn’t have kids – they just enjoyed attending the event.
“It’s a chance for everyone to be a kid again,” said McIntosh. “It’s a chance to wear a tiara.”
Celia Nissen can be reached at 594-6585 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.