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August 11, 2013

Fairy Spring Park marks 75 years

Friends of the Parks hosted a birthday party for Fairy Spring Park to celebrate its 75th year of being open to the public on Sunday. More than 100 people attended, some dressed in fairy wings or fairy crowns, others just happy to celebrate their favorite park.

So, why have a birthday party for a park?

Because “Fairy Spring is a really special place that has a real following,” said Liz Callahan, board member of Friends of the Parks.

Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz said other parks in Cooperstown, such as Three Mile Park, are very crowded with people in the summer, but Fairy Spring, “tends to be a little haven.”

Loyal Fairy Spring fans seemed very happy to be celebrating 75 years of summertime memories.

“This is my favorite park,” said Susie Knight, the event organizer and board member of Friends of the Parks. “You come here for the community; you know you’ll meet someone cool. It’s definitely like a family.”

The event included music by the Cooperstown Central School Student and Alumni Jazz Band. At 7 p.m., Knight gave a speech to honor the park.

“We have wonderful swimming, great picnicking, and most of all, wonderful friends,” Knight said.

Katz then spoke to revere Hilda Wilcox, who fought to keep the park open in 1969. He presented her with a print version of May-Britt Joyce’s painting “Summer at Fairy Spring Park” that they were auctioning.

Wilcox said in an interview that she had read in the newspaper in 1969 that they planned to close the park and was “very horrified.” She then staged a cleanup of the park and got her picture in a local paper, she said. Wilcox and other Fairy Spring enthusiasts hosted a square dance to raise money.

“It’s amazing how one individual can organize a little group to fight for what they want,” Wilcox said.

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