Ridgefield Forest Fair to showcase artists and family fun

More than 30 artists, and an unknown number of gnomes and fairies, expected to celebrate the inaugural Ridgefield Forest Fair on Aug. 6.

A free, family friendly event, hosted by the Ridgefield Art Association, is set for Abrams Park on Aug. 6

Patricia Thompson is hoping a lot of people will dress up for the occasion.

No need for formal attire. More like fairy attire. Or gnome attire.

Maybe both?

“I’m going to have my gnome overalls,” she promised. “Can a gnome be a fairy? We’ll see.”

Guess we will all find out Aug. 6 at the inaugural Ridgefield Forest Fair, hosted by the Ridgefield Art Association at Abrams Park.

A parade of tiny gardens will kick off the event that will feature dozens of artists, as well as live music and plenty of food and drinks.

“Part of our mission is to support arts in our community,” said Thompson, the chair of the fair. “We’re going to have 32 artists who will be at this event, and 12 are RAA members.”

The tiny gardens parade will get things started at 11 a.m.

“It can be anything,” Thompson said of the creations.

The gardens can be carried by hand or pulled by a wagon — something small and memorable. Some have greenery, others have dinosaurs. Some prefer a miniature Japanese garden. Prizes will be awarded for the best gardens.

The parade will be led by dancers from Northwest Classical Ballet, courtesy of Dance Fusion NW. Some of the dancers, Thompson said, will be dressed as fairies. 

A variety of the arts will be on display throughout the day, and artists will be selling their works. Acrylic. Oil. Textile fibers. Wood. Recycled metal. Glass mosaics. Photography. Ceramics. Water colors. And more.

On stage will be the UpFront Jazz Band, the Bigfoot Mojo Band with its bluegrass, and Rekless Kompany, a cover band. Plus there will be an open mike for RAA members.

The Ridgefield Lions Club will be cooking hamburgers and hot dogs. 

There will also be a beer and wine garden.

Thompson was inspired by a similar event in Alaska, where she used to live. The Girdwood Forest Fair has been going on for more than 40 years.

“It’s set in a park with trees, just like ours,” Thompson said. 

“Just to create a very fun, family friendly event that is free that the whole community can enjoy,” Thompson said. “We’re hoping it’s going to be a success. Our goal would be to continue it.”

Thompson, who works for the city of Ridgefield, said she has been thinking about this for a few years, just waiting for the right time. 

This was that time. 

“I got the thumb’s up, and we’ve been running with it,” she said.

The Ridgefield Forest Fair is part of a trifecta of events going on that day in the city.

City Days Booth and Rigs to showcase some of the city’s rigs, along with Farmer’s Market and First Saturday vendors, will set up at 9 a.m. Plus the Paddle for Life Dragon Boat Races, which begin at 8 a.m. 

The Forest Fair runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“Ridgefield is a really cool place to go,” Thompson said. “You just want to go to the park. It’s the gem of Ridgefield.”

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