This year’s SpringFest had a new twist: faeries took over Gulfport’s Clymer Park. The annual event, hosted by the Gulfport Area Chamber of Commerce and co-sponsored by the city, saw its 19th year this Saturday. At the end of its second decade, the event transformed itself into a more magically-themed celebration of spring. The new festival, dubbed a “Garden, Art, and Faery Festival” moved from Gulfport’s downtown to Clymer Park. With help from SIK Promotions, the Chamber transformed the park into an enchanted village where faeries, nymphs and wood sprites wandered about the grounds. Food vendors and artisans didn’t want for customers as buskers strolled the grounds and performed onstage. Local legends Empty Hats took the main stage for part of the day, with lead singer and Gulfportian Carl Asch taking his turn solo at the microphone later in the day.
Stageshows like “Makin’ Larvae: A Honeybee Love Story” educated children and adults alike about the importance of bees; a labyrinth offered a twisty challenge for all who dared enter. Costumed guests competed in a costume contest just before the Maypole Dance.
Vendors paid the Chamber between $75 and $200 (in addition to a $15 application fee paid to event organizer SIK Promotions) for space at Clymer Park. The city, as a sponsor and one of 72 vendors, took no fee for services offered as part of the event.