Howard Magazine - Page 40 - Magic in the Making

Howard Magazine
- Page 40
Magic in the Making

A new festival will transform Columbia’s Symphony Woods into a fantasyland


by laura jane Willoughby For Howard Magazine
Photos by kenneth k. lam


The roar of an engine reverberates off the concrete walls and rattles the bay doors at the back of a 10,000-square-foot warehouse in Laurel, empty except for a series of sets and props under construction.


A cobalt blue 1923 hot rod pulls into an open bay door, interrupting Lee Andersen, who was in the middle of explaining how the contraption next to her would become a 40-foot serpentine dragon.


“Here it is!” she says. “Woohoo.”


Andersen, a Laurel-based clothing designer, calls the car a Tin Lizzie, even though it’s a converted Ford T Bucket and not a Model T. Like the dragon, the hot rod is slated to grace the grounds FantasyWood, a three-day celebration of the whimsical and fantastical set to unfold Memorial Day weekend at Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods.


Conceived nine months ago, the festival will celebrate an amalgamation of things usually left to the realm of imagination.


Though right now it is only plastic tubing, PVC pipe, baseboard and plastic fencing, the dragon appears as though it is emerging from the concrete floor, a sort of Loch Ness monster on land. With the addition of epoxy, fiberglass and paint, it will arch its way across the entrance of FantasyWood.


Also under construction in the warehouse: a Giant’s Garden with life-size flowers, a fairy village and a Mad Hatter’s tea party. Outside the bay doors, a 3,000-gall