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Fairy princesses come to play at Cackleberries

Ariana Arsenault meets with “elf” Ed Darling during Cackleberries Garden Center’s annual Fairy Princess Night. Erin Plummer. (click for larger version)
September 02, 2009
MEREDITH — Fairies flocked to one small garden in Meredith for their yearly play, as Cackleberries Garden Center became a fairy garden for one night and over a hundred young girls.

Fairy Princess Night took place at Cackleberries on a Wednesday evening where children arrived dressed as fairy princesses for an evening of treats and fun surrounded by flowers.

This is the fourth year of Fairy Princess Night. Children are registered beforehand to take part in the event.

"Where else can you go and be with 100 other fairies?" said Cackleberries owner Laurie Perry.

Around 110 children were signed up to take part in the two-hour event.

Small girls were seen walking up Route 3 with their parents, wearing their best fairy attire including skirts of colored tulle, fantasy gowns, and cloth fairy wings.

Children gathered in front of Cackleberries, where Perry gave them pink bags to hold all the treats they would receive. Perry then had a group at a time escorted into the "fairy garden" – the nursery that had been transformed for the night.

Paths were open leading to each station along the garden. Trellises, poles, and the awnings of shed roofs were festooned with pink, purple, blue, and white tulle with silk flowers. The real flowers were arranged in rows to give the impression of a magical garden.

A wishing well was set up in the middle of the space where children could take a penny from a dish next to the well and make a wish.

Children could get colorful feather boas at one station and butterfly stickers and ribbons at another. They could also have their pictures taken in front of a mass of flowers or look at their costumes in a mirror lined with sparkles.

Cloth butterflies were hung from the ceiling of one building with colorful flowers. Children and adults walked through the "butterfly garden" to greet the Fairy Princess on the other side.

Cackleberries employee Amy Greene played the Fairy Princess, wearing a gown, crown, and fabric wings. She recited a poem before handing out small cloth fairies.

Greene has been taking part in fairy night for the past three years.

"The first year it was just so fun to decorate, get ready," Greene said. "We love it, we have so much fun. It's our main event of the summer. "

Volunteers also took part in the event, such as Ed Darling playing an elf to show children the fairy house, Ken Filpula dressed as a living tree, and Natalie St. Pierre giving silk sunflowers to departing children.

Children also had cake and punch as part of a tea party and received markers and pages to color, bracelets, bubbles, and other treats. A bouncy castle was set up for fairy jumping.

Mila Gresh and her mother Bethany Gresh were visiting Mila's grandmother Elizabeth Gauthier of Laconia and decided to go to the fairy princess night. Mila, 3, wore a pink tulle skirt and later got a cupcake in an ice cream cone.

"I think it makes them feel special," Gauthier said.

Stacey Ellsworth of Laconia brought along Madison and Emma Darling, who learned of the event through their grandfather Ed Darling. Madison, 4, wore orange tulle and Emma, 2, wore pink.

"I think they like it," Ellsworth said.

Martin Lord & Osman
Varney Smith
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