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Spoutwood Farm to end 27-year run of the May Day Fairie Festival
“Posie the Fairy” was born out of the May Day Fairie Festival, former event coordinator Dana Stout said.
And sadly, Stout, who is Posie, added, in its 27th year, the annual fairy-dreamers party held at Spoutwood Farm Center is coming to an end.
The final Spoutwood event begins Friday, May 4, and ends Sunday, May 6.
Rob and Lucy Wood, the farm's owners, wrote in a Facebook post the reason the festival will not continue at the farm is that it has "grown to an extent that it is stressing" the farm, Codorus Township, parking and volunteers.
“I’ve had people say to me it’s better than a combination of Christmas and Halloween,” Rob Wood said.
The Woods have been hosting the festival since 1991, when its details spread through word of mouth.
In its peak years, Wood said, the festival took off thanks to the “energy behind it.”
“It was far beyond what I could imagine,” he said, adding that there have been up to 16,000 people in attendance.
People from across the country now converge on the farm to celebrate the spirit of nature, Wood said. Attendees show up with decorative costumes, some wearing fairy wings, Wood explained.
Stout, a 45-year-old Carlisle resident, said she was pulled into the “magic of Spoutwood” as a patron. Stout said she was enamored with the costumes, which also are popular with the kids, and that's how Posie the Fairy was created. Stout now performs at birthday parties.
“It’s a beautiful farm with a stream, wetlands and hills,” Stout said of Spoutwood Farm. “It’s got everything. It’s nestled down in this beautiful, little spot in York County. After 27 years, the grounds have become engulfed in glitter.”
For one decade, she said, she organized everything from planning meetings to recruiting volunteers.
“It was a big job,” Stout said. “I knew the end was near because it was becoming too big to manage.”
The Woods are currently working with their regular volunteers — some of whom have been with them for decades — on the last event's activities, Rob Wood said.
“Our mission is to get people to celebrate the country and the land,” he said. “We thought, let’s do it in a way they used to do it thousands of years ago. It would be when — yes — you could see the leaves coming out on the trees. There’s no question that summer was coming.”
But that enthusiasm, as well as rain, has saturated the land to a point of being difficult to repair, Wood said.
“(Codorus) Township is very concerned about us being in the agriculture zone,” Wood said. “And we’re doing this kind of a thing. They just worry something might happen or may not show the township off in a good light.”
Codorus Township officials could not be reached for comment.
Wood said it takes about a month for the farm to recover from the Fairie Festival.
"When it's rainy and soggy, sometimes the grass doesn't fully recover and things get trampled," Wood said. "The strain on the area, and the neighbors can't get to their homes, and the traffic is backed up. Last year, when all of the traffic was going in and out, the road was so muddied that we had to hire someone to clean it up."
Ideas of relocating the festival are still open, Wood said.
"The festival is still connected to the farm in that it has its magic in it," Wood said. "But we are hoping it will go on in another location with another group of people."