Fairy Tale festival set for return

The Fairy Tale festival helps encourage a lifelong love of reading among children.

KILLINGTON — Fairy tales are fanciful stories about magical creatures in fantastic adventures with the strangest mischief. This weekend behind the Sherburne Library in Killington, many of these beloved fairy tales will come to life.

The Vermont Fairy Tale Festival is a celebration, not only of fairy tales, but also of Vermont’s public libraries, several of which are hosting this event.

At the festival, libraries throughout Rutland County and central Vermont volunteer to choose a fairy tale and set up a booth to showcase their story.

“This year we have 11 libraries participating with some familiar and some not so familiar fairy tales,” said festival coordinator Jane Ramos. “We have craft vendors, storytellers, stilt-walkers, costumed characters, games and contests.”

At one event, kids will be given 10 minutes to turn their parents into knights in shining armor with a roll of aluminum foil with prizes awarded for the best costume. At another event, dragon eggs will be hidden on the grounds and can be turned in for other prizes.

“We have a fairy village with houses made and donated by area children,” Ramos added, while “the Rutland Garden Club will be making fairy gardens with the kids.”

Both the Brandon Free Public Library and the Maclure Library in Pittsford will be participating in the event.

“Brandon librarians will be there as gnomes with a table, gnome craft and stories,” said Brandon Free Public Librarian Molly Kennedy, who was part of the planning committee this year. “There will be costumed characters roaming the grounds for picture opportunities. We are encouraging everyone to dress up as his or her favorite fairy tale character.”

Kennedy said the festival is more than just fun and games.

“Our goal is to offer a festival specifically for children and families that encourages imagination through creative play and fosters a lifelong love of literature,” Kennedy said. “It also gives us the opportunity to showcase the wonderful things community libraries do to nurture our most precious resource: our children.”

The theme for the Maclure Library will be the Wizard of Oz.

“Kids will be making poppies, blowing bubbles and coloring pictures and they will get a small bubble bottle to take home,” Maclure Library volunteer Kelly Connaughton said. “Dorothy and Glenda will be helping the kids with their projects. They can also take a picture with the Wicked Witch of the West as a life-sized figure!”

The festival will also feature an old-fashioned Crankie storyteller. Some of the costumed characters include Winifred Sanderson from Hocus Pocus, Willy Wonka and Mother Goose.  There is also a kissing booth where you can kiss a frog to see if he turns into a prince.

 For music, the Irish folk band Oh’Anleigh will be performing, and a few food vendors will be on hand.

 “We also have a Viking encampment with fighting demonstrations and games for the kids,” Ramos said. “We’ll have knights this year as well, and our state librarian, Jason Broughton, will be crowned king and have the ability to knight visitors who can tell him about a great book they have read or a good deed they have done.”

The event is free to the public with a non-perishable donation to the food bank or the humane society. Ramos also said they have plenty of free books for kids to take home. 

“It’s a great family friendly event in its second year,” she said. “We alternate festivals; one year it’s a Fairy Tale Festival and one year it’s a Viking Invasion.” 

Ramos said that helps so neither group has to immediately start planning for the next event as soon as one is over. 

“It gives the libraries a chance to breathe and prepare for another great year — and it allows the Vikings to have an event of their own,” Ramos said.

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