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‘Magical’: Fairies fly in to Burnaby for children’s nature event in May

'Magical': Fairies fly in to Burnaby for children's nature event in May

Parents and kids can dress up as fairies, elves and animals in this nature-themed spring event.

Fairies will flutter into Burnaby Lake Regional Park for a whimsical gathering of mirth and magic on Saturday, May 21.

Metro Vancouver is hosting the popular Forest Fairy Gathering event, hoping to encourage children to use their imaginations and play in nature.

Guests are encouraged to dress up as fairies, gnomes or woodland creatures. Children can build fairy homes and participate in the Elf Olympics (which includes a trail walk).

Mona Matson, a special events assistant at Metro Vancouver Regional Parks who is coordinating the event, said fairies are symbols of spirits that protect nature.

“By exploring the realm of fairies and gnomes, it helps to inspire nature protection, as well as connection,” Matson said.

She noted that regional parks have a mission to connect people with nature, in order to lead people to care for the parks in return.

“We try to bring people together to have a shared experience in the park, to get excited about nature and wildlife so that people want to learn more and then become stewards of the parks themselves,” Matson said.

Irene Lau, chair of the Burnaby Lake Park Association, called the event “magical.”

“It’s a really fantastic event in the sense that you really get kids interested in nature at a really young age,” Lau said. She said the park association helps teach children about invasive species, like English ivy.

This is the first year since the pandemic that the event is back to its full capacity. The first fairy gathering event was held in 2013.

In past years, Matson has dressed up as a forest gnome in a red polka-dot dress, striped tights and mushroom accessories.

“We want to have places for people to recreate and enjoy the park, but it’s also much more about protecting the ecosystems and nature,” Matson said.

The Burnaby Public Library will also host two story times in the mushroom circle behind the Nature House.

The event will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 21 at 4519 Piper Ave., near the Burnaby Lake Nature House. For more information, call 604-432-6359.