“This is little girl heaven,” said Mandy Patton of Mount Airy Library’s first Fairy Tale Festival. “There’s face painting, rock painting and sno-cones.”
Patton was watching her daughter Piper, who was occupied in painting a watercolor at the event’s Imagination Station. Piper had dressed for the occasion in a pink fairy costume, her face now sporting an image of a white fluffy cat, ears delicately lined in a shade of pink which perfectly matched her dress, and she did appear to be very happy.
Fairies abounded at the festival, with ballerinas also well represented; a couple of witches showed up, one good and one wicked, the wicked one commanding a posse of minions in the form of winged monkeys; and at least one magical wizard was on hand for the festivities.
“I couldn’t ask for more,” said Angela Llewellyn, assistant librarian and mastermind behind the madness. “The weather is perfect,” she said, looking up into the warm spring sunshine. “All the volunteers are here, and the Deweys are changing costumes every 10 minutes. (The Deweys are members of the library’s teen theater troupe, The Dewey Decimal Players.)
“Peter Pan and Captain Hook have been here. The Gingerbread man is over there. Alice (in Wonderland) will be here in a little while,” Llewellyn added.
About that time, Glenda the Good Witch of the North strolled across the library lawn accompanied by Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion, followed by The Wicked Witch of the West and two Winged Monkeys. Off to their left, the Gingerbread Man lost his head for a moment.
On an afternoon when imagination had temporarily slipped its tether, this assemblage drew not a second glance from the hundreds of people assembled on the library lawn.
“We have a plethora of costumes,” said Olivia Jessup, Glenda’s alter ego. “We wore the costumes for our show already.”
Jessup was referring to the Dewey’s upcoming play, “Nearly Grimm Tales,” which was presented as part of National Book Week at the library on Monday, April 30, and will be again on Tuesday, May 1, at 6:30 p.m. That play is also a mash-up of several fairy tales.
Alyssa Mitchum, age 10, just started with the Deweys, and will be Milky White, Jack’s cow, in the upcoming play, but was a Winged Monkey at the moment. Timothy Carpenter, age 14, was also momentarily a Winged Monkey.
Alyssa and Timothy said the costumes were hot and itchy, and Timothy was losing patience with the Wicked Witch of the West, AKA Hope Lichvar, who was enjoying method acting a little too much, whapping the Winged Monkeys with her broomstick from time to time.
“It’s really cool bossing these people around,” admitted Hope, looking toward her minions. “Sometimes it’s good to be bad.”
“The kids are liking it,” said Joey Marion, between sessions of Magical Merlin’s Dance and Drum Circle. “Angela asked me to do something performance-wise,” said Marion, his face almost invisible under Merlin’s large straw hat. “I used to teach dance and creative movement, and this a way to do music and movement together.”
Cindy Joyce, of Surry County Dance Center on South Main Street, was making some last-minute choreography changes with her young dancers in preparation for a scheduled noon Princess Dance on the lawn while children and their accompanying grownups settled themselves on the lawn to watch.
Ella Gwyn Hopkins, age 6, said, “I like the music and the passé.”
Reese Cox, age 8, said, “I like the music and the ballet positions.”
Both girls like their teachers.
Susan Firth Cooper and Randel Candelaria, who make up the Celtic music group CandelFirth, took a short break while the Princess Dance utilized recorded music.
Cooper said, “We love playing events like this with an audience of all ages, wonderful smiles on little faces.”
CandelFirth is based in Pilot Mountain and plays coffeehouses, festivals, pow wows, performance stages, weddingsand church events. They play Muddy Creek Music Hall in Winston-Salem every month and are really busy at Christmas.
Between the two musicians during their set, they play violin, harp, flute, Irish whistle, guitar, octave mandolin, recorder, djembe, concertina and shuttle pipes.
“We love to dress up,” said Cooper, referring to their lace-frilled shirts and historical costumes. “We do Medieval to Renaissance, pirate, Victorian, depending on the event. We can dress normal, too.”
The eight tiny ballerinas finished their Princess Dance, the audience applauded heartily, and in the distance, Alice appeared in a place that was truly a Wonderland.
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.