Rachel Marsh, at NY Faerie Fest 2014

Let me start by saying that I am extremely, extremely fortunate to live where I do – in this case, specifically, only an hour an half from the site of this amazing event.

The NY Faerie Festival was this past weekend, located in a gorgeous woodland location in Ouaquaga NY. I’ve never been to any other Faerie Fest, so I can’t say if this is “typical” as one or not (what is typical in Faerie anyway?) but what I love about it is that is has the feel of a Pagan Festival AND a Renfaire at the same time, and such a playful casualness about it that each visitor can take from it what they feel comfortable with.

As a Faerie devoted individual, I consider it a magickal weekend, but the friend that I go with each year does not take it religiously and we both have an amazing time!

This year was no exception. In fact, I am more impressed every single time I go.

Though the festival is a 3 day event and camping overnight is available (with all sorts of extra things included, sigh), I’ve only been able to go one day each year since I started attending, and this year we picked Saturday. The festival started at 11am, but due to real life things we got there around 2pm.

Sofeya and the Puffins performing, NY Faerie Fest 2014

Of course, one of the most striking things about the festival is the music. As you enter the fairgrounds, that hits you right away, thanks to one of (the many) stages being right inside the entrance. This year, as we walked in, we were graced with the wonderful sounds of Sofeya and the Puffins, which of course also meant getting to start the festival off with dancing pretty much immediately πŸ™‚

I also got to meet a certain Elvenking – and danced with him later (among a circle of other Elves, including Sofeya), when we closed the festival day as Woodland performed!

His Highness King Thranduil, at NY Faerie Fest 2014

Seeing the amazing costumes people have, fully expressing their joy in the Faerie way, is another amazing amazing thing about being there. As well as the many other performers who aren’t on the stage – doing magic tricks or storytelling or dancing or whatnot right there amongst the crowd. And of course, the vendors. So much talent and artistry and creativity everywhere!

Above all, though – there’s such a sense of delight and creation and wonder that just permeates every moment – whether you’re listening to music and/or dancing along, people watching, wandering the stalls of amazing artisan work, or just resting in the beauty of nature all around.

Amazing festival costumes, NY Faerie Fest 2014

 

Amazing festival costumes, NY Faerie Fest 2014

 

Amazing locations, NY Faerie Fest 2014

 

Amazing festival costumes, NY Faerie Fest 2014

 

Wonderful artists, NY Faerie Fest 2014

 

Even amazing natural seating, NY Faerie Fest 2014

 

Amazing festival costumes, NY Faerie Fest 2014

 

Even standing stone sculptures, new each year, NY Faerie Fest 2014

 

Amazing festival costumes, NY Faerie Fest 2014

 

And little hints of Faeries all around!

 

AND GNOMES! NY Faerie Fest 2014

 

I wish my life could feel, every day, like what it feels like to be there.

Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the festival events! There is, of course, a Faerie Queen and her attendants. They have a procession every morning but for some reason we always seem to get there too late for it. This year, however, we did catch the very end of her Tournament. From what I saw, it seems a joust and sword battle between the Summer and the Winter – much like the battle of the Holly and Oak Kings in other Pagan lore.

The Faerie Queen, NY Faerie Fest 2014

 

Cu Dubh performing, NY Faerie Fest 2014

She was totally riding a unicorn. And I think the band pictured above is Cu Dubh, but we missed their introduction so I can’t be sure. Here they are ending the Queen’s Tournament with more amazing music.

Also, one of my favorite parts of the event are the Bridge Trolls. Wandering around, you of course see many colorful characters and Fae of so many different natures. But the Trolls have a special place in my giddy heart (yes, even as a Gnome, I say this).

A Bridge Troll, hiding, NY Faerie Fest 2014

Each year they guard their bridge – which lays beyond the Walk of Frame (a walkway lined with hanging, empty frames, like the one in the picture I posted to begin with), past the Goblin Woods and a gorgeous stone Labyrinth that’s built into the site – and let visitors pass in exchange for a shiny token. They are blunt and slightly inappropriate and tribal-ish and love mud – which they share with willing passersby. And the path beyond their bridge leads into a clearing with a small Sanctuary, where one can leave offerings and sit in simple peace with nature. Its a quiet place at the end of the festival site, and such a perfect way to end the walk through the grounds.

Getting to visit them and pay their token and pass over that bridge to the Sanctuary is definitely one of the highlights of the trip, for me.

Goblin signs, NY Faerie Fest 2014

This year there was also increased Goblin activity, which was a lot of fun since apparently the Goblins and the Trolls are at odds. We got to visit the Goblins too, and even have a Goblin Tea Party, and their Faerie existence is a lot more….. “developed” per human culture (and in many ways Victorian inspired). You’d think I’d gravitate there, with my own love of Victoriana and Steampunk and everything, but something in the Trolls’ rougher, raw connection to nature pulls me instead.

And to finish, after the performance by Woodland I mentioned earlier, we got to dance our way out of the fairgrounds as the Trolls led us – drumming and dancing themselves – up to the main gate. We haven’t ended up staying that late in previous years, either, so that was yet another amazing experience from this year’s trip.

To sum up, then, once again I had an amazing time and I can’t suggest this festival enough, no matter what you believe in! Can’t wait to see what its like next year – and someday, hopefully, to go for the full weekend.

Blessed be, all.

 

 

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