Fairy Festival brings sparkle to San Diego Botanic Garden

Fairy Festival brings sparkle to San Diego Botanic Garden
Quinlan Blackburn, 3, of La Jolla, gets a hand finishing her fairy house. There were close to a dozen craft stations at the festival. Photo by Promise Yee

ENCINITAS — Pint-sized fairies and their parents gathered for the annual Fairy Festival at San Diego Botanic Garden on June 20.

Kyle Buschatzke and Jill Laughlin, owners of Pixie Chics silk flower fairies, explained “fairy culture” is about magic and imagination.

“It’s using your imagination with a little bit of fantasy,” Laughlin said.

Julian Duval, San Diego Botanic Garden president and CEO, said the garden serves as a perfect backdrop for the festival.

Leilani Parent, 4, and Charlize Parent, 2, of Lake Elsinore, strike a dance pose. San Diego Botanic Garden served as a backdrop for the annual Fairy Festival. Photo by Promise Yee

Leilani Parent, 4, and Charlize Parent, 2, of Lake Elsinore, strike a dance pose. San Diego Botanic Garden served as a backdrop for the annual Fairy Festival. Photo by Promise Yee

“It’s nature focused, that’s the nexus for us,” Duval said.

The family-centric event was held in Hamilton Children’s Garden, which features children’s interactive activities year round.

The garden sparkled with wings, tiaras and Peter Pan swords, as children explored garden paths, took up crafts and danced to live music.

Tucked into nooks of the garden trail were fairy houses, a photo opportunity with the festival fairy princess and a wishing bush.

In the market area craft stations were set up for girls and boys to paint treasure boxes, create magic wands and build their own fairy houses.

Harper, 4, and Emme, 6, of Carlsbad, take a seat in the Great Chair. Hamilton Children's Garden features children’s interactive activities year round. Photo by Promise Yee

Harper, 4, and Emme, 6, of Carlsbad, take a seat in the Great Chair. Hamilton Children’s Garden features children’s interactive activities year round. Photo by Promise Yee

Last year 2,000 people attended the event. This year the crowd swelled considerably.

“We definitely have over that number this year,” Lisa Reynolds, garden marketing and public relations manager, said.

The popularity of the festival resulted in some craft tickets being refunded because art supplies ran out.

Duval said the annual event consistently draws large crowds.

“It’s incredibly popular,” Duval said. “It vies with the Chocolate Festival for the busiest day.”

He added the Fairy Festival is a wonderful opportunity for children to connect with nature.

“It’s an opportunity for children to experience the beauty of nature,” Duval said. “Their imaginations are stimulated, and they turn into environmental stewards.”

The San Diego Botanic Garden has more than 27 garden areas, including two children’s gardens, which collectively display more than 3,000 plant species.

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