Young and old alike dressed up in bright colors and glitter this weekend for Provo Library’s annual Fairy Tea.
Donning wings, girls over the age of 3 anxiously waited for the arrival of the Fairy King and his court, as Princess Courtney prepared them to enter the fairy realm.
“Good morning and well met, my beautiful little fairies,” she said. “On behalf of his majesty the fairy king, I welcome you all to fairy land on this most auspicious day.”
[easyembed field=”Photogallery”]Princess Courtney then proceeded to teach the girls how to curtsy before meeting the king. Soon everyone, little and big fairies alike, rose for the entrance of the fairy king.
During the rest of the year, Princess Courtney is known as Courtney Lowe, community relations coordinator for the library, and the Fairy King is Gene Nelson, the library director. But for the first weekend of every March, the staff members transform themselves and the upper levels of the library into a fairy kingdom, complete with a display of fairy houses made by the staff.
This year marks the 11th anniversary of the tea.
“It really has become a tradition here in Provo,” Lowe said. “It is certainly our most popular event that we hold all year. It’s just very popular. Beloved, I guess would be a better adjective.”
The event originally began with just one tea. The library now hosts four over two days. Tickets for the tea went on sale Feb. 18. Within an hour, 700 of the 800 tickets available were sold.
“It’s a lot of work,” Lowe said. “However, I think the impact that it has is so far reaching and so important that it makes the work seem light.”
The entire children’s staff joined the celebration dressing up in fairy gear. Even a security guard joined the festivities sporting a pair of black wings over his uniform.
Upon arrival, each guest was escorted to themed tables where a fairy dust necklace and magic wand awaited them. Dancers from the Academy of Ballet performed several routines, while the young fairy guests nibbled tea-time snacks.
Finally, each girl was able to join the fairy promenade to curtsy before the king.
Diana Hodges, a Provo resident, came Saturday with her daughter Samantha, 8, for the fifth year in a row.
“We started coming when she was three and we’ve just enjoyed coming every year,” Hodges said. “They do a great job and it’s just amazing.”
Samantha said she enjoyed watching the ballet dancers and curtsying for the king.
The fairy promenade is also Lowe’s favorite portion of the program.
“All these girls get to walk and have their moment where everything is just about them,” she said. “It’s not just happiness on their faces, it’s almost like it’s something that is so much more. It’s just beautiful.”
Carla Morris, the children’s services manager, started the program and said she enjoyed seeing it grow.
“We just can’t have enough peace and beauty in this world,” she said. “Girls seriously can’t wait until they turn three because that’s when they get to come. It is a definite tradition.”
Wearing green tights, library director Gene Nelson said he had to agree.
“People really do love it, and we have a good time too,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with having fun with make believe and believing in fairies and things like that. It’s a lot of fun.”