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Build fairy homes with supplies from 'Gnome Depot' at this free, family-friendly Burnaby event

It’s the 10th annual Forest Fairy Gathering at Burnaby Lake Regional Park on May 20.

It’s that time of year for folks to put on their wings, mushroom hats and fairy garb and join Metro Vancouver in the 10th annual Forest Fairy Gathering at Burnaby Lake Regional Park.

On Saturday, May 20, families and children can get out and explore the natural world around them in a celebration of springtime.

It’s an event that especially encourages children to get outside and play with nature, said Metro Vancouver special events assistant Mona Matson.

“A lot of it is just trying to get people to come together and play and have fun – especially for children, they get really excited seeing fairies hidden and being able to do scavenger hunts.”

Last year’s event had beautiful weather and a big turnout, and this year is shaping up to be just as fun.

Activities will include building a fairy home in the forest with supplies from “Gnome Depot,” storytime in the mushroom circle, searching for pollinators in the butterfly garden and a collaborative colouring mosaic. Fiddle music will fill the air for true cottagecore vibes.

Kids can also search for fairies and fairy friends on a woodland walk throughout the event – even participate in a trail walk, where kids can help a butterfly fairy regain her magic.

And don’t forget to dress up in your best fairy regalia.

“We really encourage people, and lots of people do, come dressed up, whether they come as fairies, as gnomes, as animals – anything for a gathering of fairies,” Matson said, adding all the staff and volunteers will be dressed up as well.

She said in previous years, whole families have dressed up in themes like elves and other woodland creatures.

The event hopes to encourage kids to participate in unstructured play in nature, Matson said.

Joining the event will be the Burnaby Lake Park Association, who will be educating the public on ways to be park stewards throughout the year.

Right next to the event is Piper Spit, Matson said, meaning attendees can visit ducks and geese in the park – and maybe even spot a gosling.

Metro Vancouver noted there won’t be food trucks on site, so it’s recommended to bring your own food and refreshments, and traffic delays are expected due to construction on Winston Street.

Metro Vancouver will provide a free shuttle bus to the event from Lake City Way SkyTrain station roughly every 30 minutes from 10:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. – or families can walk about 20 minutes from the station. The last shuttle will leave the park at 3:15 p.m.

The easiest way to access overflow parking would be to drive eastbound on Winston Street from Phillips Avenue and turn right onto Lozells Avenue.

Matson said the event draws a multi-generational crowd.

“There’s just multiple generations of people who return … from babies to siblings, to adults, to friends to grandparents, just all different ages. It’s so nice.”

The first Forest Fairy Gathering was in 2013, making this the event’s 10th anniversary.

Metro Vancouver Forest Fairy Gathering

When: Saturday, May 20 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Burnaby Lake Regional Park (4519 Piper Ave., area surrounding the Nature House)
Cost: Free