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Giovanna Roy of Bedford, also known as Mermaid Giovanna, welcomes kids to have their photos taken with a mermaid at last year's Oceans of Discovery Fairy Tale Festival. Courtesy 

Imagination rules at Nashua's Fairy Tale Festival

Nashua brings midsummer nights' dreams to life in July at the city's annual Fairy Tale Festival.

On July 19, Mayor Donnalee Lozeau will welcome a crowd of children dressed as fairy tale characters to Greeley Park, 100 Concord St., at the festival's opening ceremony at 10 a.m. All-day events include stage performances on the bandstand, games, singing and more than 40 tables with games, crafts, kid-friendly exhibits and lots of giveaways. Admission to the festival is free and open to all.

Camden Brien, 7, of Nashua, checks out a violin at the Nashua Chamber Orchestra's Instrument Petting Zoo, one of the many community-sponsored activities at the 2013 Fairy Tale Festival. Courtesy 

"This year's theme is Snow White," said Tom Dwane, program director for Nashua's Parks and Recreation Department, sponsors of the festival. In addition to the famous princess, Dwane said he expects to see kids come dressed as Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy and the rest of the seven dwarfs, but characters from all tales are welcomed and celebrated.

"We encourage kids to come in costume," he said adding the festival ends with a grand costume parade.

And Greeley Park's rolling green lawns, stone house, fountain, wading pool and gazebo are a perfect setting for fairy-tale photos, and a great spot for family picnics.

"Nashua's Fairy Tale Festival was started years ago to help promote literacy," said Dwane. "Every child who comes will go home with a free book."

During the festival, volunteers will man craft tables where kids are welcome to create small art projects.

"We also have a Fairy and Wizard School where they can make wings and shields," added Dwane.

Besides crafts, there will be face painting, balloon twisting and other exhibits and demonstrations from local groups. Last year, the Nashua Chamber Orchestra set up an instrument petting zoo where kids could try out violins and other musical instruments.

For kids who want to test out their dancing-on-air fairy skills, there will be fairy castle bounce houses and snow cones to cool down after some jumping.

The bandstand will be busy with performances by local dance troupes, musicians and theater groups, and the audience will be welcome to join in sing-alongs.

"This year, we've added a puppet show for all ages," said Dwane.

The Fairy Tale Festival is part of Nashua's Summer Fun Calendar, a full schedule of concerts, movies, theater performances and other festivals and events for adults and kids that take place at Greeley Park and other locations throughout the city.

"It's all about free family fun," said Dwane.


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