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Jan 19, 2018







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Fairy tale characters at Nashua’s annual SummerFun Festival. Courtesy photo.




Summer Fun Fairy Tale Festival

When: Saturday, July 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Greeley Park, 100 Concord St., Nashua
Cost: Free
Contact: 589-3370




Fantasy land
Nashua Parks and Rec brings fantasies to life

07/17/14



 On Saturday, July 19, Greeley Park in Nashua will be overrun with princes, princesses and other fairy tale characters — including, perhaps, an evil stepmother and a handful of dwarves — for an afternoon of performance art and music. 

The theme for this year’s SummerFun Fairy Tale Festival is “Snow White,” and children are encouraged to dress up to fit in with the theme.
“We try to keep it different every year,” said Tom Dwayne, the program director for the Nashua Parks and Recreation Department, which has hosted the event for more than 10 years. “We change the theme to keep things fresh and keep the kids’ imagination going.”
In years previous, the themes have been based on other fairy tales and fantasy literature, like superheroes and sea travellers. One year was even based on Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days. Dwayne said the festival is not only supposed to stimulate kids’ imaginations but also encourage literacy.
“We give free books out to anyone who comes,” he said. “We ordered several hundred books, so any kid who comes gets a free book.”
The festival kicks off with Mayor Donnalee Lozeau welcoming all the princes and princesses to the festivities, followed by a special fairy tale reading. The event then opens up to a large bandshell designed like an enchanted forest. The bandshell will host performers such as Judy Pancoast, who fuses a fantasy routine into her musical performances, as well as dance groups, children’s safety groups and a puppet show. Dwayne says that this year, Parks and Rec is bringing in giant games that allow children to become life-sized figures in real board games like checkers.
Surrounding the stage will be 40 different types of vendors providing various other kid-friendly activities like bounce-houses, caricaturists, face-painting, food and other games.
“We’re also hosting a fairy art school, where kids can go in and decorate their own wings or shields or crowns,” said Dwayne.
Dwayne said the festival is important to the city because it provides an entertaining alternative for kids that doesn’t require parents to spend any money. 
“The city had [events like this that] started in the mid-’70s, when gas shortages made it hard for people to leave to go to the beach or the amusement parks,” he said. “These events survived so people could stay in Nashua to have fun and not travel far. Today, with this economy, we’ve seen a resurgence of a lot of [these] activities. They’re all about having a good day at the park with their family that is at no cost to them.” 
 
As seen in the July 17, 2014 issue of the Hippo.





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