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Two Thumbs Down for Saline’s Fairy February

March 3, 2010

Review of Local Activity: Saline’s Fairy February

Location: Saline, Ohio

Website: http://www.salinedma.org/FairyFeb10.shtml

Description: A dozen artists created “Fairy Doors” and gave them to local businesses in downtown Saline. The businesses then “hid” the doors. Visitors were encouraged to pick-up a playing card that listed all the businesses. Visitors had to find the doors in each establishment, and receive a special stamp from that business saying they found it. They could them submit their playing card into a drawing for a lovely gift basket from all of the stores.

Review:

This sounded like a cute idea, and Jimmy & I were planning on heading up to that region anyway. It sounded like Saline was trying to drum up some visitors, and we enjoy walking around cute downtown areas and being tourists.

We got to Saline around 3pm on Saturday afternoon- a fine time to go shopping at these businesses, right? Wrong! The first four places we tried were closed. I almost gave up right away! I need for things to be “complete” I didn’t want to find some of the fairy doors, I wanted to find them ALL- it is meant to be a game, afterall. Besides, a gift basket from all these lovely places sounded wonderful.

Before we left, I decided to check out a “bookstore”…well, The Calico Cat Books & Gifts sounded like it had books. It was mainly gifts, as it turned out. But, I did hunt for their fairy door. It took me a long time, because I was expecting a fairy door…like the one I have in my own home, or like any of these: http://urban-fairies.com/. Doors that are teeny-tiny and are placed on a wall to connect to the outside or to other rooms- to allow for fairy access of course. I was not expecting fairy nests, outhouses, and ceramic houses with no doors at all placed randomly in the center of the room: http://www.salinedma.org/docs/FairyFeb10-fullsht-sm.pdf.

We also checked out the Spotted Dog Winery and Maureen’s Designs, who were also open. After speaking to the shop keepers, who sounded surprised that the other places were closed, Jimmy convinced me to come back the following weekend. We decided we would just arrive earlier in the day, as the shopkeepers seemed to think that the other stores must have just closed up around 3pm/4pm. We finished up a few more places- as many as we could. I believe we found about half the places. One of the shopkeepers gave me a postcard with the various times businesses closed on it.

We came back the following weekend- before the earliest close-time listed on the card. We got a few more stamps, but then a shopkeeper informed us that we would have to come back on Monday to turn in our cards since 212 Art Center was closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

I couldn’t believe that the placed you had to get your last stamp and turn in your card was closed all weekend. We didn’t even stand a chance. This wasn’t listed on any of the information I got: the website info above, the playing card, or the postcard with the times I received (212 was one of the only businesses not listed on the card). We couldn’t drive back up to that area on Monday- we had to work, and its a decent drive (about 45 minutes).

It became clear to me that either a) Saline/212 Arts Center/Fairy Coordinators have no idea what they are doing; or b) the intent of this activity was NOT to strum up more customers/tourists to Saline, but simply to give the locals something to do.

Consequently, I was annoyed by this whole business. The doors were not doors at all, they were awkward to find because they were not where “doors” should be, we made two separate trips and still never finished this activity, and I never got to enter for the gift basket.

Saline’s Fairy February gets 1.5/5 stars in my book.

(a half star for being a cute/creative idea; another 1/2 because I got an excellent bottle of wine from The Spotted Dog Winery; and the final 1/2 because The Pineapple House had the cutest little dog ever, you can’t fathom how adorable s/he was!)

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