Fairy Gardens are small, but they'll be hugely popular at Grand Rapids Symphony's 'Blandford Enchanted' show, June 2-4

Fairy Gardens, for as small as they are, are hugely popular.

Grand Rapids Symphony sponsors “Blandford Enchanted” for Fairy Garden enthusiasts at Blandford Nature Center, Friday, June 2 through Sunday June 4.

It’s the perfect place in Grand Rapids to spy mysterious woodland creatures of the forest at work.

“You’re going to hear beautiful music and see beautiful things,” said spokeswoman Liz Schultz.

Organized by Grand Rapids Symphony, some 35 meticulously crafted Fairy Houses will be on display in Blandford Nature Center’s new Mary Jane Dockeray Welcome Center.

“Some of these houses are so darling. It’s amazing how creative people are,” Schultz said.

Plenty more will be seen outside on the grounds of the 143-acre nature located at 1715 Hillburn Ave. NW, in Grand Rapids. Particularly for a special Lantern Walk through the forest, complete with live music, that will be held the evening of Saturday, June 3

“It’s going to be absolutely enchanting,” Schultz said. “People won’t forget it.”

Do-it-yourself Fairy Door decorating and build-it-yourself Fairy House making kits will be available. Organizers spent months gathering materials for Fairy House starter kits with all-natural materials.

There will be a special “Fairy Boutique” selling handcrafts and costume components, live music, storytelling, and a few special surprises along the way. See more on "Blandford Enchanted's Facebook page."

Hours for “Blandford Enchanted” are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, June 2, through Sunday, June 4. Admission is $10 adults, $5 children.

The Lantern Walk will be 7 to 10 p.m., Saturday, June 3. Tickets for the Lantern Walk are $15 for all ages.

Get an early, sneak-peak at “Blandford Enchanted” at a preview party, “One Enchanted Evening,” on Thursday, June 1, at the nature preserve on the northwest side of Grand Rapids.

Along with a sneak-peak preview of the exhibition, the evening includes heavy hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar; music from the Celtic ensemble An Dro; and the premiere of a new ballet, set to the music of Maurice Ravel, featuring dancers from Grand Rapids Ballet and musicians of the Grand Rapids Symphony.

“One Enchanted Evening,” will be held 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, June 1. Tickets, $75 apiece, include entertainment, food and a signature drink.

Buy tickets online for all activities here.

“Blandford Enchanted” is a fund raiser held to support the Grand Rapids Symphony’s educational programs.

“The focus is the Grand Rapids Symphony and its educational programs. That’s what’s important,” Schultz said. “The magic is what the symphony brings to our community.”

A similar event, Brookby Enchanted, held two years ago at the historic Blodgett Estate in East Grand Rapids, was an enchanting success that engaged young families with the creative community of Grand Rapids.

“Brookby was really good,” Schultz said. “But this is going to be even better.”

Grand Rapids Symphony Friends, formerly known as the Grand Rapids Symphony Women’s Committee, has a long history of supporting the growth of the Grand Rapids Symphony and furthering appreciation and understanding of music. Founded in 1941, the group played a critical role in the orchestra’s growth during the World War II era.  Today, the committee organizes projects and fundraisers including its Encore cookbook celebrating Grand Rapids culinary and culture.

Blandford Nature Center began as Collins Woods, part of the Collins family farm, where Dr. Mary Jane Dockeray explored that great outdoors as a child. It later was acquired by Victor Blandford.

In 1949, Dockeray began volunteering for the Grand Rapids Public Museum as a nature lecturer. Eventually, she convinced the Blandford family to donate 17 acres to the museum to develop as a nature center. Dockeray became its first curator. Overtime, money was raised from state and other funds to buy more land.

In 2003, Blandford Nature Center became independent of the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Today, it’s an independent nonprofit supported by the Wege Foundation and others.

“A lot of people have never been to Blandford or haven’t been there since they were kids,” Schultz said. “Now’s a good time to come back for a visit.”

Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at 10:00 AM
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