Faeries and Friends Find Fun at Springfest

As part of a mother-daughter team for the past 10 years, “we’ve taken over the garage” to create a production studio location in Seminole for the Rivermist Clay company that specializes in original fine pottery and ceramics, said Christin Kuck, the mother. “I thought I would be a brownie for this festival but I don’t have the elf ears,” she said laughing. She is holding a one-of-a-kind, hand-made glazed gnome that they created especially for Springfest.

Whether you it spell it “faerie” like they did in the 16th Century or “fairy” as they do now, all of them – even the elves and ogres – were friendly as could be during the 24th annual Springfest in Gulfport’s Clymer Park on Saturday and Sunday, April 7 and 8.

The family and pet-friendly festival’s theme is all about experiencing “garden, art and faeries,” according to the event’s Facebook page.

What was different this year? Over 50 vendors were set up in several rows for a more “focused” experience, as opposed to being spread throughout the length of the 7.5 acre park, said Suzie King of SIK Promotions. “It’s magical,” she said.

Clymer Park is located at 5501 27th Avenue S. between the north- and south-bound, one-way roads of Beach Boulevard in Gulfport.

During Springfest, vendors, musicians and visitors are encouraged to dress as faeries, wizards, trolls, wizards and other similarly themed characters. This includes wearing wings, tails and “imagination-inspired attire,” according to the event’s Facebook page.

The Gulfport Area Chamber of Commerce hosted this year’s event and proceeds from vendor booth fees benefitted their organization.

Kathleen Bardar of Pinellas Park, is the owner of Savannah. “A friend of mine gave me both the hat and the dress for her,” she said. Bardar is a member of the Chihuahuas of the Tampa Bay Area, a meet-up group that supports local Chihuahua adoption and rescue efforts.

Delilah Santos, almost 3 years old, of St. Petersburg, dances to live music by two wandering minstrels. “We’re here to enjoy the festivities and expose our children to the wonderful creatures, gnomes, fairies, music and fun,” said Vanessa Santos, Delilah’s mom. “This is our first time and we’ll be back again!” The Tampa Bay musical duo is called For Love or Money. David Waterman plays a guitar while Jen Shumilak plays either an Anglo concertina, an instrument similar to an accordion, or an 1890s Washburn mandolin.

Gulfport’s own New Horizons Band performed at the 24th-annual Springfest in Clymer Park. The diverse entertainment lineup on Saturday also included Woodlynd, a Faerie Harpist and the Giggle Guardians.

As seen through a permanent art installation entitled Sylvan Symphony by Jonathan Schork, a boy plays with bubble-blowing tools at the 24th-annual Springfest in Gulfport’s Clymer Park. About 50 vendor tents provided visitors with “garden, art and faeries” themed merchandise according to the event’s Facebook page.

Jezebel Capra, a second grader from St. Petersburg, enjoyed the bungee trampoline on Saturday, April 7, at the 24th-annual Springfest in Gulfport’s Clymer Park. “We’re here so she could play,” said Sheryl Segovis, Jezebel’s great-grandmother. It was their first time at the festival. “She rode her first roller coaster at Busch Gardens yesterday so she’s getting real brave.” Bruce Segovis, Jezebel’s great-grandfather was also part of the family group. “Mom would never allow hang gliding or parachuting,” said Bruce. “It makes my tummy tingle,” said Jezebel as she was airborne strapped into the bungees.

On the sidewalks surrounding permanent art installations at Clymer Park were baskets of chalk for drawing and buckets for bubble blowing. Charlotte Pape, 2 and a half years old, of Winter Springs, with her grandmother, Allison Belanger, enjoyed creating bubbles in the swirling breeze on Saturday. “We’ve been coming to the faerie festival for about five years,” said Belanger. Charlotte’s temporary faerie arm tattoo was applied at home as part of her themed costume, said Belanger.



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