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The Gathering of the Tribes say farewell to Spoutwood Farm during the 27th annual Fairie Festival John A. Pavoncello, 717-505-5449/@Jpavoncello

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For 27 years, Spoutwood Farm in Codorus Township has been hosting all sorts of fairies, witches and other mystical creatures during its annual May Day Fairie Festival.

This year that came to a tearful end.

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Farm owners and festival organizers Rob and Lucy Wood — or the "Green Man" and Queen Lucy, as they are known to festival-goers — decided this would be the last year for the farm to host the fest.

As the final Gathering of the Tribes happened at the May Pole on Sunday, May 6, tears flowed while the participants took an oath to continue honoring the Fae at a new location.

More: Spoutwood Farm to end 27-year run of the May Day Fairie Festival

But in the end, the festival attendees celebrated with song and dance, as they've done for decades. 

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The Woods have hosted the festival since 1991, when its details spread through word of mouth.

In its peak years, Rob Wood has 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 some years.

People from across the country converged on the farm to celebrate the spirit of nature, Rob Wood said earlier this year.

But that enthusiasm, as well as rain, made it difficult to repair the land, he said, adding 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," Rob Wood has 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."

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