Howard County Greens Weblog

The Green Party Local in Howard County, Maryland.

21 May 2006

Faerie Festival

I spent yesterday at the Maryland Faerie Festival, collecting signatures along with Nathan Bahn and Mary Rooker (of the Montgomery Greens). It was a very good location.

The event, for those of you who haven't heard of it (and that's probably a great many of you, since this is only the second year it's been around), is a mixture of fantasy, entrepreneurship, spirituality, child's play and people looking fabulous. The Green Party pavillion was shoved off to the side, next to other 'educational' booths. Our neighbors represented the local Pagan community, a newly formed theatre company, the Maryland Organic Food and Farmers Association, a group looking to host a faerie festival at a children's hospital. a local private (Sudbury) school, and an innovative game design company.

So, why was it such a good location for us to petition?

First and foremost, it was a fun location. The people walking by were all where they wanted to be, doing what they wanted to do. That put them in a good mood (always a plus when you're starting a conversation with a stranger).

Secondly, it was a sympathetic crowd. Contemporary Faerie lore is very ecologically conscious, which is always a good starting point. Even the less than politically conscious revellers were open to the 10 Key Values, and the vast majority of those we spoke to signed the petition and stayed to chat for at least a few minutes.

The link between spirituality and Green values is one I would dearly like to explore some day. From my own standpoint, my own sense of values informs both my political and my religious journey. For many within the party, religious and spiritual values (whether pro or anti theistic) have lead them to the Greens, and yet, as Mary pointed out, there is a highly vocal contingent within the movement which distrusts any expression of spiritual or religious expression whatsoever. Perhaps this is in reaction to the religious right, which so vocally attacks any school of thought which doesn't match their own. It would seem a shame if the whole Green party would turn it's back on the principle of diversity of thought simply to avoid one particular philosophy.

In any case, the Festival continues today, in Upper Marlboro (a few miles outside the Washington beltway). Come out if you have a chance, it's worth the trip.

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