Fairies take over Walnut Beach for wildly popular event
Hundreds and hundreds of fairies flitted around the Walnut Beach shops Wednesday night for an annual Fairy Frolic, which organizers said has grown exponentially since it started four years ago.
Families came from Milford and beyond — their children dressed in fairy costumes — to meet the King and the Queen of the fairies at the Artfish42 shop on Naugatuck Avenue, receive their 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.
“Fairies are so in,” said Meg Giannotti, owner of the art shop Artfish42, and brainchild behind this fairly new and popular Milford event.
Pop culture, including the creation of fairy gardens with miniature fairy statues, and Disney films, have made fairies very popular.
“These kids have to grow up so fast these days, this gives them a chance to just be kids,” Giannotti said as she stood outside her shop, where a line of children waited to meet Morganna, fairy godmother of mermaids, and Nym, woodland elf and protector of forest and fauna.
Fairy Frolic, Giannotti explained, is the night that the fairies let you know where they are going to live — hence the 50 tiny fairy doors scattered around the shops Wednesday night.
The fairy maps participants received indicated where they would find the doors, leave their tiny gifts, and receive good dreams in return. The gifts they left were shells, stones, bits of candy — some that the children had brought with them, and for children who didn’t bring their own fairy gifts, event organizers provided bags of tiny shells fairy-appropriate presents.
And as they stopped in the shops, the children got little treats of their own — some candy, a plastic ring, glitter…
Tara DeEll and Bonnie Schwartzenberg attended the event with their children, having found out about it on Facebook. They said it sounded like Halloween, and a lot of fun.
Katie Garcia said it sounded like a great chance to make memories with her toddler, Addie, 2. Both mom and daughter wore fairy wings — as did most of the people at the Frolic. Katie said her wings were left over from a high school Tinkerbell costume: “You don’t outgrow fairy wings,” she said. Then she spent time purchasing and then decorating Addie’s wings.
Rich Coda has been long involved in Walnut Beach activities and helping to bring the arts and events to this section of Milford. He said the Fairy Frolic has clearly been getting bigger and bigger each year.
Giannotti confirmed that: The first year there were 35 children, the second 150, the third more than 300, and this year — well, she estimated it might be more than 1,000.
In the shops and outside the shops, there were costumed characters, like Tinkerbell and Ariel, greeting the children and praising their fairy attire. There was pixie dust, hoola hoops for sale, facepainting, and more.
Volunteers wearing “Fairy Patrol” shirts helped guide people along their way. Annie Wendel and Laura Schultz were among the patrol, and said it was great to see so many people, and fairies, enjoying the community.
Giannotti said sponsors made the event better this year, donating funds that helped with signs and trinkets and such. She hopes next year to get the road closed to make traversing this fairyland a little safer because she thinks the event will continue to grow in popularity each year.