Dilia Kamensky and her three daughters, Emilia, 9, Lily, 11,...

Dilia Kamensky and her three daughters, Emilia, 9, Lily, 11, and Elina, 14, built a fairy house together that they have named Grumpy Gnomes House. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

Calling all nature-loving humans: Fairies, gnomes, trolls and all magical woodland creatures are gathering to welcome spring. On May 4, families can join them for the second annual Long Island Fairy Festival at Sands Point Preserve. Returning favorite activities will be joined by new whimsical events.

“I’d say 1,500 to 2,000 people came to the festival last year,” says Linda Nutter, the festival director.  Many attended in fairy attire, she adds. And while not mandatory, “if you’re not going to dress up, you have to be in a magical mood.”

That magical mood will prepare you to meet and chat with fairies, trolls and gnomes strolling around the 216-acre park. They might pop out from behind a tree or greet you while sitting under a bridge.

Dilia Kamensky, 45, of Port Washington, attended the festival last year with her husband and three daughters. She says, “It’s a pure magic event. The location, the visitors, the artists, everyone involved makes it a happy place.”

Long Island Fairy Festival

WHEN | WHERE May 4, rain date May 5. Rain on May 5 moves event indoors. 127 Middle Neck Rd., Sands Point

COST $95 per car; carpooling recommended. Tickets sold online in advance only.

MORE INFO 516-571-7901; sandspointpreserveconservancy.org

At this year's event, sing and dance with woodland characters around a new maypole; pose with fairies in magical photo op settings; be part of the debut costume contest; try fun “non-fairy” games and more.

In case a few imaginary fairies are flying above and can’t find their way to the festival, all they’ll have to do is look down at the Sands Point Preserve to find:


Last year's flock of festivalgoers dressing up with fairy wings and flower garlands inspired the addition of a costume contest to the event's offerings, Nutter says. “We’re going to set up little vignettes and spots where people can take photos in their costumes,” she explains. Participants will be given a specific fairy festival email address where the photos can be sent. Winners will be announced on social media one week after the festival.

Kamensky’s daughter Lily, 11, says, “Last year, my mom, my sister Elina and I wore tutus, wings, and flower crowns. We dressed my sister Emilia in a big, puffy princess dress. She was our mascot.”


Anyone can make a mini fairy house or gnome home in advance, drop it off at Sands Point Preserve May 2-3, and have it displayed along a path during the festival. Each house must be made of materials that are part of nature. A few favorites include pebbles, twigs, sand, dried flowers, shells and pine cones.

Lily describes the steps she and her family are taking to make a tiny grumpy gnome home for the festival this year. “My sisters and I searched around our backyard for moss, pine cones, pebbles and twigs,” Lily says. Elina, 14, adds, “We’re building the house with pinecone chips for window shingles, pebbles on the wall, and a wood platform covered with moss to look like an actual yard.” Their dad found a fallen branch to set the house on. Near the front door, they’re making a grumpy gnome sign that says, “This is not an entrance. Don’t even think about it.”

A host of homemade fairy house examples are on the website. Register online to inform Fairy Festival staff to reserve your spot.


Lily recalls, “Last year, at a wishing well, there were fairies who sprinkled you with glitter dust and then you made a wish with a coin.” Emilia, 9, chimes in, “We also met a fairy riding on a decorated horse. Petting the horse was fun.”

There will be many more opportunities to meet fairies and whimsical characters. Take photos with new backgrounds with the Queen of the Flower Fairy, a troll under a bridge, mermaids in a cove, and others. You’ll notice fairy aerialists performing with silks as well.


Also added to the festivities is a maypole — a tall pole that has colorful ribbons attached to it. Anyone can dance around it. Just grasp a ribbon and you’ll be directed through a dance that ends up weaving the ribbon around the pole.

As you’re meandering across the fair, you’ll hear music all day long performed by Irish fiddlers, a harpist, and The Brooklyn Bards Band, which plays a combination of rock and Celtic music.


New food trucks with lunch meals and snacks will be at the fair. There will also be vendors selling enchanting, nature-based items. The Kamensky sisters will create handmade soap shaped like fairies, flowers, and whimsical creatures. They’ll sell them at the festival and donate their profits to Sands Point Preserve.


Nutter says, “We have a very large park. Last year, a lot of people at the festival told me they’d never been to the preserve before and simply enjoyed walking around our trails.” Some charming, traditional games have been added as well. A guide will help you try Hoop Trundling or play Game of Graces. Hands-on circus and juggling activities will be part of the fun, too.


In addition to making tiny bowls of fairy soup and wands, there will be more crafts in store than ever before. You’ll find a section filled with natural materials that are perfect for creating your own fairy or troll home. After creating your building, take it home, place it outside, and keep watching. You never know who might move in.


If you’re up for dressing up for the fairy festival, you’ll find a wide variety of woodland attire at local costume shops including Costume America (80 Smith St., Farmingdale, Suite #7, 631-414-7464). Fairy wings range from chiffon to lavender with rainbow rhinestones. There are wands, tutus, colored gnome wigs, garden elf hats with beards, cloaks, and dragon wings. For a finishing touch, pick up a pair of ear tips that look like fairy ears.


To keep the fairy festivities going all year long, here’s an Australian classic recipe for Fairy Bread: a slice of white bread, spreadable butter or margarine, colored sprinkles. Remove the bread crust; spread a thick layer of butter across the bread; cover it with sprinkles and pat them down gently to be sure they stick. Yum!


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