By Evan Johnson
KILLINGTON—This September, the grounds around the Sherburne Memorial Library in Killington will come alive with the characters of beloved children’s classics, including Thumbelina, the Little Mermaid, the Ugly Duckling, Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin and many more. The gathering of these characters is the first of what organizers hope will become an annual festival celebrating fairy tales and and more importantly, the work of public libraries around the state.
At a Killington Select Board meeting April 4, Library Director Jane Ramos described plans for the event, scheduled for Sept. 23, that will feature 16 to 18 libraries from around the state, each setting up a story-themed tent with crafts, games and projects kids can take home. Visitors will also receive a stamp in a “passport” for visiting each booth.
Ramos said fairy tales, despite their recent adaptation as popular animated movies, were graphic and “horrifying” when originally written. Ramos said content could be adapted to meet the interests of children of all ages.
“Everyone wants to believe in fairy tales,” Ramos said.
Ramos said she hopes to attract between 300 and 500 people to the festival on a rare open weekend in the resort town. Parking is a concern for organizers and the library is looking for ways to handle traffic.
Ramos said the festival would feature characters and stories by Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen and the German folktale collectors, the Brothers Grimm, while avoiding stories and characters from the Disney story universe, as it would likely encounter trademark issues.
So far, the library has received commitments from libraries in Burlington, Whitingham, Wilmington, Highgate, Swanton and more.
Additional attractions will include professional storytellers and performers from the Vermont Renaissance Faire.
Killington Rotary and Killington Fire and Rescue has volunteered to do food vending for the day.
“It’s an opportunity to work with the kids and show what libraries can do,” she said.