Popular event on Friday draws on fairy folklore

Not every city’s mayor issues a proclamation in observance of tiny winged fairies: Milford’s Mayor Ben Blake plans to do so Friday, June 21, at the Fairy Frolic at Walnut Beach, where last year about 600 children and adults dressed as fairies flitted around the shops looking for hidden fairy doors.
This year’s frolic takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. among the Walnut Beach shops, at the end of Naugatuck Avenue where it meets Broadway.
Last year, families came from all over to meet the king and the queen of the fairies at the Artfish42 shop on Naugatuck Avenue, receive a fairy name and a map and then head out among the shops in search of “fairy doors,” where they would leave little trinkets and baubles as gifts for the fairies.
The frolic has proven so popular that the city this year will close off the end of Naugatuck Avenue at 5 p.m.
“Fairies are so in,” said Meg Giannotti, owner of the art shop Artfish42.
The first year 30 children came to Fairy Frolic; the second year 150, the third year 300, last year 600, and there’s no telling yet how many will put on their wings and come to this year’s.
“Kids have to grow up so fast these days,” Giannotti said. “This gives them a chance to just be kids.”
She keeps the event free so all children can enjoy it, though there will be food and other things that people can spend money on.
Fairy Frolic, Giannotti explained, takes place on the summer solstice, the night the fairies let you know where they are going to live — hence the tiny fairy doors that will be scattered around the shops and outside on Friday night.
“They’ll have to look high and low to find where the fairies live,” Giannotti said.
Fairy lore says that if you leave small found items, like shells, rocks or a flower at the door, the fairy will take the item and use it in their work.
“In return, they will help you have sweet and wonderful dreams,” states a brochure describing Fairy Frolic.
Volunteers wearing bright pink “Fairy Patrol” shirts will help guide people along their way.
Giannotti said sponsors made the event better this year, donating much-needed funds that help keep the frolic free for participants. Sponsors include Home Depot, Dr. Robert Kroepel, Beth Mishler - Coldwell Bank, Subway and Baybrook Remodelers.