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May 1, 2008


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Faery fun planned in Comer Sat.
Medieval faery world the theme of city’s new spring festival
BY BEN MUNRO
When the Comer Downtown Development Authority sought to add something to the social calendar, it decided upon something rather rare around these parts.
During conversations regarding spring events, business owner Jennifer Lumpkin suggested to DDA chairperson Tina McCullough that Comer host a “Faery Fest.”
“She mentioned a faery festival, and I was like, ‘That sounds interesting,’” McCullough said.
Faery festivals, similar to Renassisance Festivals, are common throughout the country, but not particularly in Southeast.
These festivals basically celebrate mythical faeries and medieval European folklore through the art, music and food.
Since there are none in the Deep South, McCullough sees potential for growth for Comer’s event, thus its billing as “The official Faery Festival of the Southeast.”
McCullough noted one particular faery festival started with 100 patrons and has grown to 7,000 six years later.
McCullough is a co-chair along with Lumpkin who’s opened the Faery Emporium in Comer next to McCullough’s Blue Bell Gallery.
This Saturday’s faery festival coincides with opening of the Comer Farmer’s Market, which should help draw a crowd.
“This just made for a good combination,” McCullough said.
Since this is the inaugural event, there have been challenges.
For starters, there’s no Celtic music, which is essentially the soundtrack of a faery festival. Organizers hope to add that in future events.
They also have a very limited budget.
But castle-themed aesthetics are planned to represent the time period.
Saving Grace will reopen to serve up turkey legs — part of medieval fare.
There will even be a pony dressed up like a unicorn, similar to what a knight might ride.
“That’s the vision,” McCullough said of the historical motif. “We’ll see where we go.”
Perhaps even jousting one day?
“Oh, maybe, who knows that this would build to,” McCullough said, laughing, and noting that a field behind the Comer Farmers Market could be bush-hogged for a jousting arena.
Aside from medieval-themed attractions, the faery festival will offer outdoor artists, vendors, crafts, activities, live music and entertainment, an exotic petting zoo with an animal interaction/education station, bouncing and climbing activities for kids, and games.
This year event is going to start out very small, McCullough said, but she wants youth groups to utilize this for fundraising.
She’s optimistic that the faery festival will have a good first-year showing, especially with farmers’ market patrons being close by.
“I think we’ll have a crowd,” McCullough said.
And she expects this to offer those who come an experience different from the usual spring festival.
“Oh yeah, it’ll be different,” McCullough said.



 

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