The Fairy House Tour is an annual celebration held on the South End of Portsmouth on the grounds of Strawbery Banke, the Governor John Langdon House, Prescott Park and Peirce Island in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Billed as “The World’s Largest Fairy House Event,” The Fairy House Tour promises more than 100 handcrafted fairy houses made by local artists, florists, garden clubs club members, businesses, families and local school children.
The Fairy House Tour extravaganza was inspired by Tracy Kane, an award-winning author and illustrator who created the Fairy Houses Series® of books, which popularized fairy house building worldwide, including “Fairy Houses,” “Fairy Boat,” “Fairy Flight”, “Forest Secrets.” and “Ocean Secrets.”
What inspired Tracy Kane to write her Fairy House books? It was a visit to Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine. Kane recalls:
“On Monhegan Island they have been building fairy houses for 60 years. I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if kids everywhere were doing this?’ I was a graphic artist for NH Public Television. Being an artist I loved the outside and landscapes. I hoped my book could get kids outside. I was afraid this generation would grow up and not take care of the outdoors.”
(To build a fairy house, Kane explains) “Look for building areas in woods, beaches, meadows, and especially your own backyard! Use only natural materials to build your house – nothing artificial. Sticks, bark, dry grasses, pebbles, shells, feathers, seaweed, pinecones and nuts are just some of the materials you can use. A fairy house built in the woods will look different than one built at the beach! Be respectful of plants that are growing. Try not to disturb plants that are still living, such as ferns, mosses and flowers. Fairies are careful not to harm anything that is growing.”
Also on the agenda at The Fairy Houses Tour will be a ballet entitled “Fairy Houses – The Ballet,” an original work based on Fairy Houses Series and performed by The Southern New Hampshire Youth Ballet.
Outside of New Hampshire, there are other fairy house tours, including events at the Cornhill Arts Festival in Rochester, New York in July and the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens on Barters Island Road in Boothbay, Maine.