The 2015 Festival season is a wrap, both literally and…

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The 2015 Festival season is a wrap, both literally and figuratively. Patrons and participants alike bundled in cloaks, blankets, and furs to brave rainy skies Saturday and Sunday. I had a chance to go back on site yesterday, and mud still abounds as vendors work to pack up their booths for the year.


Despite the weather, we had a festive holiday weekend! With over 66,000 in attendance, there were plenty of laughs and hugs, successful shopping excursions (I managed to find a gift for my mother-in-law), and photos with Father Christmas. Toasts were drunk, turkey legs were consumed, and knights were knocked about.


Twig the Fairy paid her first visit to our village, riding in Friday’s parade, signing books throughout the weekend at the Dragonslayer, and sharing her own special brand of magic throughout the faire. She is as beautiful in real life as in any photo I have ever seen of her, and her companion is lovely as well. We hope they will be back!


After the final fireworks, the Performance Company, many stage entertainers, and management team members gathered in the Entertainment Building for their traditional champagne toast, where appreciation was shown and the inimitable Jim Hancock led us in our traditional “Health to the Company” before everyone began to weep with fatigue and the impending loneliness of knowing it will be eight months before we see each other again.


Lots of really great moments happened this season: a child was encouraged not to be afraid by one of the phenomenal ride operators on the bungee jump, five couples became engaged, 56 couples tied the knot (including our first official same-sex couple), three new scholarships were given to graduating seniors, many hearing impaired patrons celebrated with us on Deaf Awareness weekend, and 32,000 tomatoes were thrown at the Tomato Throw game!

We inaugurated our first group of TRF Ambassadors,  held our very first Fairy House contest and hosted celebrity Patricia Quinn of A Rocky Horror Picture Show fame, and she was delightful, especially during the shadow cast performance of the film at the After Dark. It was a fun, if damp, year.

There is always a pervasive feeling of melancholy about the grounds this week- we’re all exhausted by the long workdays, we will miss the sweet friends and co-workers that I have heard called our “fairmily,” and there will be long stretches of days without magic, music, and fairy dust. But there is a time for everything, according to Solomon, and a time for rest and creative renewal is part of the cycle.

Lots of goodbyes are said this week. When you pay attention on the final weekend, you see lots of hugs, lots of cheeks kissed and glasses raised for toasts. For so many of us, faire is where our loved ones reside, even the air and earth hold the spirits and ashes of those who have gone.

Fine friends and companions
come join me in rhyme
come lift up your voices

in chorus with mine

come lift up your voices,

all grief to refrain

for we may or might never

all meet here againchorus:

so here’s a health to the company

and one to my lass

let’s drink and be merry

all out of one glass

let’s drink and be merry

all grief to refrain

for we may or might never

all meet here again

our ship lies at anchor
she’s ready to dock
I wish her safe landing
without any shock
and if I ever I should
meet you by land or by sea
I will always remember
your kindness to me.

Though he is gone, I still hear Owain’s plaintive tenor every year at this time. Friends, we wish you a wonderful life until we meet again in 2016. Huzzah and blessings to you all.

Photo  credits: Steven David, Mark Carboni, Michael Falgoust

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